Cairo Retain ECA Basketball Crown

EGYPTIAN city Cairo retained the East and Central African Inter-city basketball men’s trophy for the second time after beating Qardo of Somalia 79-59 at the National Indoor Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Sunday evening.

Cairo were much ger than their opponents and they started to pose a threat to Qardo from the first quarter through their point guard, Assem Elgendy, who went for three points in the early minutes of the quarter. The opening quarter was not easy for both teams.

Qardo lost many balls while attacking, but were able to steal balls from their opponents. In the second quarter things started to get worse for the Somalis, who failed to utilise their chances well onto the pitch. Fear and individuality started to dominate their team throughout the game.

Cairo led 45-31 at the breather. Qardo playmaker Yussuph Ali, who was voted the Most Valuable Player (MVP), tried to bring his team mates back to form, providing assist for the goals and at the same time scoring in front of Cairo giants. His dribbling skills enthralled hundreds of fans who witnessed the game.

Qardo’s dream turned into a nightmare after Cairo guard, Ayman Shawkat, got into the game more vigorously, taking easily all layups and driving the ball at will.

His collaboration with Elgendy was enough to finish off their opponents. Both teams were more aggressive in the final minutes and Cairo’s Amar Mesham almost ignited a fight when he roughly pushed Qardo’s Ali.

Commenting on their victory, Cairo head coach, said his team collaborated well they played as a team which made it easier to them. “You saw that… we were a team, we coordinated well onto the pitch, they (Qardo) have good players but they didn’t play as a team,” he said.

He insisted that Cairo’s mission is to win every trophy ahead of them and are always committed to grooming young talent to keep them fresh always.

“We always bring up young talents, these players I came with most of them are 20 and 21 years old, so you can see that we are young and fit to win this and coming trophies,” he noted.

Qardo assistant head coach Mohamed Hassan accepted the defeat saying that it has cost them a great deal. “Every team wants to win, we are defeated but we are looking forward to correcting some minor mistakes in the coming tournaments,” he said.

As usual, the hosts failed to show their abilities in the tournament as Dar City finished third in the men’s category. Nairobi retained the women’s title after smashing Kampala 77-37.

Source : Tanzania Daily News