Junior Gazelles (Photo: FIBA)
  • Mali 108-32 Uganda
  • Uganda 48-80 Egypt

Uganda’s Juniors Gazelles have recieved a baptism of fire on their debut appearance at the FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship.

Drawn with heavyweights Mali and Egypt in Group B alongside South Africa that did not show up for the tournament, it could not get any tougher for Uganda.

And on the opening day of the week-long tourney, the Junior Gazelles were on the recieving end of the only century thus far when they fell to championship overwhelming favourites Mali, 108-32.

Roger SSerunyigo’s charges trailed 31-7 after the opening ten minutes and all was nothing but done as Mariam Coulibaly (26 points) proved too much to contain in just 19 minutes on the floor.

Maria Najjuma’s efficient 8 points and 10 rebounds were Uganda’s only shine in the game.

Maria Najjuma (Photo: FIBA)

On Monday night, the Junior Gazelles were up against Egypt and more streetwise despite another heavy defeat. The team consistently scored 10 points in the first two quarters and trailed by 22 at the half but got better in the second half, scoring 15 and 11 points respectively.

Mary Moses Amaniyo scored game-high 18 points, Maria Najjuma had 11 points and picked 22 rebounds while Shilah Lamunu scored 9 points.

Despite the two losses, the Junior Gazelles will play in the quarterfinals and they take on Mozambique, who finished second in Group A, on Thursday evening.

Uganda’s Roster: Shila Lamunu, Penitah Nabakooza, Esther Namiiro Kwagala, Mary Moses Amaniyo, Maria Najjuma, Patience Nantume, Sylvia Namuddu, Linda Aber, Regina Ajuma, Joy Nyapenda, Lydia Babirye, and Sharifa Nalwadda.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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