JKL Lady Dolphins, reigning champions of the Women’s National Basketball League, have arrived in Kigali, Rwanda, ahead of the 2023 FIBA Zone V Women’s Championship.
Following their recent victory over KIU Rangers, securing their third NBL title in a 4-1 finals series, the Lady Dolphins left the country on Friday.
They are the sole representatives of Uganda at the upcoming tournament due October 28 to November 4, as last year’s league champions, UCU Lady Canons, withdrew.
This marks the Lady Dolphins’ return to the championship since 2019 when they emerged victorious against KPA (Kenya) in Dar Es Salaam.
The team has strengthened its roster with the addition of Rose Amaniyo (KIU Rangers), Martha Soigi (KCCA Leopards), and Shakirah Nanvubya (UCU Lady Canons).
Amaniyo, a standout forward, showcased her skills during KIU’s run to the finals, averaging 12.4 points and 9.7 rebounds.
Martha Soigi, an aggressive and seasoned player, led KCCA in scoring this season, averaging 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game.
Guard Nanvubya averaged 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists for UCU, and will be expected to provide more options to the team’s backcourt.
Notably, Leticia Awor, Grant Generous, Shamirah Nakiyaga and Christine Namulumba have not made the trip.
City Oilers coach Mande Juruni, who is an assistant at the Lady Dolphins, has also gone with the team and will work alongside Henry Malinga as the side look to bring honours home.
The 2023 FIBA Zone V Women’s Championship will feature nine clubs from six countries, including host nation Rwanda, represented by APR and REG, as well as Vijana Queens and JKT Stars from Tanzania, Nile Legends from South Sudan, Kenya Ports Authority and Zetech University from Kenya, and Gladiators from Burundi.
It’s reported that the participating clubs will be grouped into two, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinals.
The top three teams (champions, Runners Up, Third-placed team) in the championship will secure qualification for the 2023 FIBA Africa Women Championships, scheduled to take place in Egypt from December 8 to 17.
JKL Lady Dolphins squad – Brenda Ekone, Hope Akello, Flavia Oketcho, Evelyn Nakiyinji, Rita Imanishimwe, Becky Longom, Agatha Kamwada, Taudencia Oluoch, Thelma Toskin, Martha Soigi, Shakira Nanvubya, Rose Amaniyo