Uganda pool cranes win East and Southern Africa championships 2021 in Zambia

The Uganda national pool team ( POOL CRANES ) were crowned as champions in the East and Southern Africa championship 2021 which took place in Zambia. Members of the National Pool Team( The Pool Cranes )setoff for Lusaka -Zambia for the maiden edition of the East and Southern Africa Pool Championships( ESAP) which started on 7th – 10th January 2021. The Pool Association of Uganda wasn’t able to secure any financial aid from either the Uganda National Council of Sports ( NCS ) or the Corporate bodies.

Team Uganda are maiden winners of the Eastern and Southern Africa Pool championships. Uganda defeated the Zambian national side 13-7 at Flintstones in Lusaka in the final.

Having traveled humbly for the 4-day event, the first 2 match days were set aside for the Singles event. 2 of the Cranes players Caesar Chandiga and Ibra Sejjemba managed to play quarter final stage, The Ladies’ category has seen the elimination of Top seeds Rashida Mutesi and Vicky Namuyanja; however 4 of the team were involved in the last 8- Zaimatt Nabafu, Ritah Nimusiima, Faith Nganda and Rukia Naiga.

Meanwhile, the new Lockdown measures in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Botswana prevented the respective national teams from involvement; leaving the event to have participants from Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. To compensate for numbers, the organising Zambia Pool Union allowed 2 teams for the 2 countries with the necessary number of players; that’s how we had Uganda A and Uganda B competing, same applies to Zambia.

2 groups were drawn to play against one another with the top 2 teams from each group qualifying for the semi finals. The Uganda A team topped group A ahead of Zambia B, while Uganda B didn’t make it from the group, while Zambia A topped group B ahead of South Africa, Tanzania and a Lusaka Select side.

A nail biting semi final was set between bitter rivals South Africa and Uganda, playing 25 games. Close as the match was, it was tied at 12-12 after 24 games. This was when national champion Bwanika Mansoor Broke and finished the deciding game to guide the team to the final against opponents who boasted the involvement of a one Aden Joseph; the best player on the continent today. This is the second time Uganda defeats South Africa, the first time occuring in 2016; in the AAPA on home soil. On the other side Zambia A defeated Zambia B in semi final 2. This paved way for a tense final between Uganda and Zambia.

The host nation were confident in their ability; especially with the services of inform Edward Katenta, Victor and Mofya. Uganda lined up Caesar Chandiga (the Tournament’s new sensation), the calm but poisonous Ibrahim Sejjemba, Geoffrey Settumba, national champion Bwanika Mansoor and League Top scorer Glorious Sennyonjo. The Zambian Chipolopolo were no much as the Cranes led 12-7 going into the 20th frame out of 25. This was when Sennyonjo Glorious composed himself to win a tough fought frame against Edward Katenta “a.k.a Soldier” to kickstart a night of joint celebration between Uganda A and B players; singing the local victory song- “Tuliyambala Engule“.

We congratulate the boys and all Ugandans back home upon this 80,000 Kwacha victory. We thank the Team manager Hanz Rugari for his personal and financial effort in ensuring that the trip had to happen. Another note of thanks to Kateregga Bob, and all club managers who aided respective players make the trip.

Below is a summary of the results from the entire tournament;

LADIES’ SINGLES
1.Rukia Naiga  – Uganda
2.Ritah Nimusiima – Uganda
3.Nicola Rosseau –  South Africa

MEN’S SINGLES
1. Aden Joseph  –  South Africa
2. Aden Joseph
3. Nkole –  Zambia

MOST BREAK & FINISH GAMES
Ladies: Nicola Rousseau
Gents: Aden Joseph

BEST TEAM MANAGER
Hanz Rugari  – Uganda

MEN’S TEAM EVENT
1. Uganda A
2. Zambia A.
3. Zambia B.

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