Equity Hawks emerged as the winners of the 2018 FIBA Zone V Tournament held in Dar es Salaam over last week with an impeccable unbeaten run streak.
The team beat compatriots and long-term rivals KPA in the final match, dethroning them as the defending champions and elevating themselves to be the best team in East and Central Africa.
Speaking in the aftermath of the win, head coach David Maina praised the team’s resilience, noting that at their second appearance at the regional championships, the team was able to show the world what it is capable of.
“This championship was a true test of strength for the girls, and it pushed the team to display their best form ever. Emerging as winners in our second outing of the FIBA tournament has left us energised and ready to perform in any upcoming championships,” Maina said.
Equity Hawks captain, Joyce Nabwire noted that the residential training the team underwent in the last couple of weeks in the run-up to the game gave them the much needed mojo to face their opponents on the continental stage.
“We learnt our lessons from the last tournament and were ready to show East and Central Africa our growth as a team. We went to Tanzania in high spirits and made the country proud, just as we had intended,” Nabwire said.
Belinda Okoth, who was the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), attributed their win to their decision to play a more defensive game during the tournament.
“Our decision to change tactics from what we usually do is what made us unpredictable to the competition. We decided to bolster our defence and work on counter attacking, which paid off in all our matches against Uganda’s UCU, Rwanda’s APR, Tanzania’s JKT, Ethiopia’s Wolkite and KPA,” she said. She also attributed the win to the coach’s decision to add more players to the team, which she noted was also a factor in their victory.
“The addition of Betty Kananu and Seline Okumu to the team alongside the already established core team definitely strengthened the Hawks. This was made evident when we picked up two player awards at the end of the tournament,” she added. The 2018 FIBA Zone V Championships saw top teams from across East and Central Africa face off.