FIBA Zone 5 hoops light up Dar arena today

ALL is set as nine teams have been listed to compete for FIBA Africa Zone Cup for Women Championship starting in Dar es Salaam today to October 1st this year.

It’s a qualifier for the 2022 FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women.

Vitalis Gode, the Zone Five Secretary while confirming the entries to Fiba Africa Media, revealed that the stage is set for the six-day competition at the Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium in Dar Es Salaam.

Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) president Michael Kadebe also told this paper over the weekend that Tanzanian envoys are Vijana Queens who are ready for the showdown.

Adding, he said the most welcome news is the arrival of South Sudan who are playing it for the first time.

There is little doubt that attention will be paid to the arrival on the scene of the South Sudanese representative – Nile Sisters.

Though not much is known of this team but their participation is the most welcome.

Since joining the continental scene in 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya, the performance of South Sudan senior men’s team on the continental podium has been awesome. And expectations are high the ladies can also make their mark.

Kenyan clubs have dominated this event over the years with sixteen time national champions Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Equity Bank Hawks who have won the crown thrice will once again lead the title hunt.

The other teams that have confirmed besides  Vijana Queens are Sporting Club (Egypt), APR and REG (Rwanda), Young Sisters (Burundi) and Walkite (Ethiopia).

While KPA and Equity Bank Hawks battled it out in an all-Kenyan final last year with the porters prevailing 71-35 in the end over the bankers, e Egyptian side and two Rwandese teams, there  is every indication, it will be a highly competitive show.

KPA, who were upset by JKL Dolphins of Uganda in the 2019 title game at the same venue, are determined to make it to their third finals in a row.

Equity Bank tactician David Maina said his side has also intensified their training ahead of the show.

The team has a league assignment as they are programmed to play Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Lynx.

Tanzania’s Don Bosco, the Hoops from Rwanda and Gladiators of Burundi who were part of show last year will miss out this time but this championship will sure live up to its billing.

With the top team assured of a ticket to the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women, it will be a tight duel as it will be competitive. For Tanzania, this will be the third successive club tournament they are hosting in the region in recent years.

Last year, besides the zonal competition, Tanzania also hosted the Basketball Africa League (BAL) club qualifiers with great success.

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