Uganda Triumphs Over Rwanda in Thrilling U18 Basketball Finals

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Uganda’s U18 boys beat Rwanda 69-66 in close final.
Uganda’s U18 girls dominated Rwanda with 82-52 victory.
Both Ugandan teams qualified for FIBA AfroBasket 2024.
Rwandan player Dylan Kayijuka scored team-high 26 points.

Close Battle in Boys’ Final

In a nail-biting finale, Uganda’s U18 boys’ team edged out Rwanda with a narrow 69-66 victory, securing their spot in the FIBA AfroBasket 2024. The intense match took place at the Lugogo Indoor Stadium in Kampala on Friday, June 14, concluding the U18 Zone 5 qualifiers.

The game was a showcase of resilience and skill from both sides. The Junior Gazelles of Uganda started strong, winning the first quarter 19-17. However, Rwanda responded robustly in the second quarter, outscoring Uganda 17-10, and took a 34-29 lead into halftime.

The third quarter saw Uganda regaining their momentum, with a 22-16 run, setting the stage for a dramatic final quarter. In the last quarter, both teams fought fiercely, but Uganda managed to clinch the quarter 18-16, sealing their 69-66 victory.

Star Performers

Rwandan point guard Dylan Lebson Kayijuka was the standout performer, scoring a team-high 26 points. He was supported by Jonas Nsingiza, who contributed 13 points, and Christian Iranzi with 8 points. Despite their efforts, it was Uganda’s consistent team play and strategic execution that ultimately won the day.

Girls’ Final: Uganda Dominates

In the girls’ final, Uganda’s U18 team delivered a commanding performance, defeating Rwanda 82-52. The Ugandan girls dominated from the start, showcasing their superior skills and teamwork.

From the outset, Uganda controlled the game, with a strong defense and an aggressive offense that left Rwanda struggling to keep up. By halftime, the score was already skewed heavily in Uganda’s favor, and they continued to build on their lead in the second half.

Path to FIBA AfroBasket 2024

With these victories, both Uganda’s U18 boys’ and girls’ teams have earned their places in the prestigious FIBA U18 AfroBasket 2024, set to be held in South Africa this August. This marks a significant achievement for Ugandan basketball, as both teams will represent the region on a continental stage.

Insight into the Future

These qualifiers have highlighted the growing competitiveness of basketball in East Africa. For Rwanda, despite the losses, the performances, particularly in the boys’ team, were commendable. Dylan Lebson Kayijuka’s impressive scoring indicates a promising future for Rwandan basketball. With continued investment in training and development, both countries could emerge as strong contenders in future international tournaments.

Looking Ahead

As Uganda prepares for the AfroBasket 2024, the focus will likely be on building on their strengths and addressing any weaknesses observed during the qualifiers. The experience gained from these high-stakes games will be invaluable for both teams as they prepare to face tougher opponents on a bigger stage.

Moments of the Games

Rwandan point guard Dylan Lebson Kayijuka led his team with an impressive 26 points in the boys’ final.Jonas Nsingiza and Christian Iranzi contributed significantly for Rwanda, scoring 13 and 8 points respectively.Uganda’s boys’ team outscored Rwanda 22-16 in the third quarter, crucial for their 69-66

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