Egypt Qualifies for Women’s AfroBasket with Win over Uganda

Uganda National Women’s Basketball team, the Gazelles have failed to make it to the forthcoming FIBA Women’s Afro-Basket tournament after losing to Egypt 74-65 in the final of the Zone V Women’s Afro-Basket Qualifiers at MTN Arena in Lugogo on Sunday.  

It was a painful moment for the Gazelles, who had worked relentlessly throughout the six-day tournament in the hopes of returning to the championship they last competed in 2015. In a do-or-die game where both teams were playing for the second time having played in the course of the round-robin tournament, the Gazelles failed to stop the Egyptians despite the advantage of a fully packed MTN Arena with hundreds of fans to cheer them as they battled Egypt for the single zone five slot.

The game was tightly contested from the opening minute where Uganda’s Brenda Ekone led her team from the start and at least in the first two quarters. However, it was Egypt that endured the rowdy Arena to claim the first quarter by a point lead, 20-19.     

The teams continued battling toe-to-toe in the second quarter but still, Egypt kept the lead for the biggest part of the quarter, save for a few minutes toward the break where Uganda led for the first time in the game at 33-31. However, Uganda still failed to hold onto the lead, which Egypt snatched a few minutes to half time and led the half by 40-38.   

Egypt continued dominating the game in the third quarter with a six-point difference of 59-53 before they sealed the deal in the fourth quarter. Raneem Elgedaway’s double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds, Radawa Salem’s 16 points and five rebounds, and Soraya Deghady’s 11 points helped the Egyptians overcome a resilient side in Gazelles.    

On the other hand, despite the defeat, Brenda Ekone continued with her brilliant display, scoring a game-high of 25 points and seven rebounds followed by Jannon Otoo who contributed 14 points and 8 rebounds while Maria Najjuma added a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.  

Egypt will now join Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, and Cameroon, which qualified during the 2021 Women’s African Championship in Yaounde, Cameroon. 2023 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket will be held from 28 July to 6 August, in Kigali, Rwanda.    

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