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15 June 2024 | Basketball

Uganda’s Junior Gazelles (Girls) and Junior Silverbacks (Boys) qualified for the 2024 FIBA U18 African Championships that will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ugandans qualified in their respective categories by winning the finals of the FIBA Zone V U18 Championship played at the Lugogo Indoor Arena.

Both teams faced Rwanda in the finals, with the Junior Gazelles picking a one-sided 82-52 victory while the Junior Silverbacks nicked a slim 69-66 win.

Tournament top scorer Resty Nanangwe led the Junior Gazelles with a game-high 21 points with support coming in from Shiprah Kiranda who racked up a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Bridgette Nibishaka and Rebecca Cyuzuzo top-scored for Rwanda with 13 and 12 points respectively.


Nail-biting Boy's Final

While Uganda had previously beaten Rwanda 78-49 at the group stage as well as the other opponents Kenya and Tanzania, the final was tough.

Uganda led 19-17 after the first quarter but were behind 34-29 at halftime. The Junior Silverbacks however recovered and entered the final quarter with a slender one-point lead (51-50).

Rwanda led by 4 points midway through the last quarter before Uganda rallied back for the win mainly throough Tejan Joel Rugette who stepped up down the stretch.

Rugette finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists which got him the tournament MVP honours.

Peter Sserunjogi (15) Gideon Ekukwai (14) and Edrine Ekau (13) also scored in double digits for Uganda.

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