The Gazelles in action against hosts Egypt in the Zone V Championship yesterday. Photo: score beyond media

Uganda’s representatives the Gazelles lose opening fixture to hosts Egypt as Silverbacks set sights on Somalia in the Zone V men and women tournament.

The Uganda women’s Basketball team, the Gazelles, were defeated 83-56 by hosts Egypt in their opening Zone 5 Championship also set to act as the Afro basketball 2017 qualifiers.

Uganda needed to win their first game to ease chances of defending their crown. However, they will now have to win all their remaining games to stand of a chance of first position and pray Egypt falter on their way.

There are only four national teams from FIBA Africa Zone 5 in the Egyptian capital, Cairo battling for only one slot to the Final Round of FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2017 in Bamako, Mali (September 15-24).

Hosts Egypt, Kenya, debutants Somalia and reigning champions Uganda are the participating nations after Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda withdrew from the regional tournament, which has always been competitive. The winner of this tournament will join Mozambique who emerged champions of the Zone 6 region after defeating Zimbabwe over two games in Maputo earlier this week.

The Gazelles play Kenya today 7pm EAT, in their second game of the Tournament.

Meanwhile, in the men’s category, the Silverbacks, who were pit in Group B are set to face Somalia today in their opening game.

The Silverbacks were pit in group B alongside Burundi and Somalia while hosts Egypt have the test of Kenya, Rwanda and South Sudan in Group A.

Following a series of troubles before traveling to Egypt, it remains a question of how the two Uganda representatives will perform.