Zone V: Gazelles Beat South Sudan In Frenetic Affair

Gazelles captain Flavia ‘Flirsh’ Oketcho left everything on court against South Sudan. (FIBA photos)

Thursday, February 16
*Kenya 69-58 Rwanda
*Uganda 74-53 South Sudan

Friday, February 17
*Rwanda Vs Egypt – 5pm
*South Sudan Vs Kenya

Uganda’s Gazelles were 74-53 deserved winners over South Sudan in a pulsating Zone Five affair at a packed Lugogo Indoor Arena.

Despite winning by 21 points, the Gazelles had to get their hands dirty against a determined and exuberant South Sudan side that was cheered on by a sizeable crowd.

The game was eventful and lived up to the billing on and off the court, but the Gazelles – off the back of a one-point win over Egypt – held on for their second win in three games.

Hope Akello. (FIBA photos)

South Sudan coach Ebony Hoffman survived an ejection after repeated protests, Captain Adut Bulgak tossed the ball in the crowd after fouling out while Anegor Wol also fouled out despite staying 18 minutes on the court.

Maria Najjuma put up an improved performance with a double double of 10 points and 18 rebounds.

Hope Akello used her energy and size while Brenda Ekone banked on her pace as both sides scored 14 points each.

Jannon Otto had a rather quiet evening by her standards but finished with 13 points while Flavia Oketcho was industrious with five steals before she was taken out as a medical precaution after receiving a serious scratch on her face.

Raucous South Sudan fans

Guard Shakira Nanvubya was handed her senior team debut towards the end, and all starters were withdrawn in closing stages to reserve more energy for forthcoming assignments.

Only Rose Akon, who features in NBL with UCU Lady Canons, scored in double figures for South Sudan after notching 15 points.

The Gazelles will have a whole Friday to rest before facing Rwanda on Saturday in their last round-robin game.

Jannon Otto

And a win against Rwanda will all but propel Uganda to a final qualification match on Sunday where the winner will book a ticket to Kigali for the Women Afrobasket later this Year in July.

Gazelles Continue Resurgence

In their 53-61 loss to Kenya, there was little to suggest that the Gazelles could bounce back and compete for a ticket to Afrobasket.

But wins over Egypt and South Sudan have put the side back in contention.

There has been great improvement since day one both as a team and with individuals.

The team is moving the ball well, creating good plays and open looks.

And with this newly found confidence, it will take some beating to stop the Gazelles.

Against South Sudan, they played good defence and put pressure on the ball that forced Sudan into 33 turnovers.

They also out-rebounded South Sudan 65-48.

Going forward, more production will be needed from the bench if the Gazelles can for the third time in history confirm an Afrobasket Qualification.



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