The Uganda Women’s National Basketball team the Gazelles, is set to face off with DR Congo in a crucial qualification game tonight as they battle for a spot in the final stages of the ongoing 2023 FIBA Afrobasket in Kigali.
The Gazelles who started the tournament with a loss, displayed resilience and finished second in Group C . The stunned 11-time winners Senegal with an 85-83 win after a tough 66-80 defeat against Mali in their opener.
They now need to build on their earlier victory against Senegal to stop the DRC team, who also have their eyes set on the same slot. The DRC finished at the bottom of Group D after losing games to Nigeria and Egypt.
As per the tournament format, only the group winners secure an automatic spot in the quarterfinal round, while the second and third-placed teams must go through a qualifier for the last eight.
Currently, Mali, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Cameroon have already secured their quarterfinal berths by topping their respective groups, leaving the other eight countries to fiercely compete for the remaining four slots.
According to the draws held, the winner between Uganda and DR Congo will face off with hosts Rwanda who got a direct ticket to the Quarterfinals after topping Group A.
Gazelles’ Centre, Melissa Akullu told the media ahead of the game that Senegal’s second loss to Mali was a blessing for their team, as it tied them with DRC, which she considers a slightly fairer opponent compared to Egypt, whom they would have faced had Senegal finished ahead of them in the group.
She added that they will capitalize on their current buoyant mood after securing a victory against Senegal to stop the Congolese.
Gazelles head coach Alberto Antuna said that while he acknowledges that their opponent is more experienced than them, they are equally prepared for such tough opponents.
Uganda Vs DR Congo 10pm
Mozambique Vs Ivory Coast
Egypt Vs Senegal
Angola Vs Guinea