Uganda Opens Volleyball World Cup Dream against Burundi

July 25, 2013

Kenya v Burundi 5pm, Uganda v Tanzania 7.30pm

July 26, 2013

Kenya v Tanzania 5pm, Uganda v Burundi 7.30pm

July 27, 2013

Burundi v Tanzania 5pm, Kenya v Uganda 7.30pm

Anthony Ndawula’s fired up Uganda volleyball men senior team start the 2014 Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) World Championship dream today against Burundi this Thursday confident of making the cut and winning the pre-qualifier.

Uganda will host regional powerhouses Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi at the MTN Arena Lugogo from July 24-28.

The national team had a rather unsuccessful campaign failing to at least finishing in the top three at the 2011 Zone Five All Africa Games qualifiers in Kigali but Cranes’ skipper Dickens Otim is now optimistic they will post their best in the two-day Kampala edition.

“We don’t know much about Burundi as a national team, if we are to go by what we have witnessed at club level and beach, Uganda is a much better side.” Otim said.
The Sub Zonal qualifiers will see the top three teams between Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi qualify for the Zone Five qualifiers in September.

Pre-tourney favourites, Kenya’s national men’s volleyball coach Gideon Chenje is sure Uganda won’t be an easy side ahead of the 2014 Federation of International Volleyball Zone Five Sub Zonal qualifiers starting Thursday.

“Uganda will be the toughest opposition in our group,” Chenje to the continental sport governing body on Thursday morning “But we are certain of giving them a hard time at their own backyard.”

Chenje remembers the Confederation of African Volleyball Men’s Championship were his Kenya Prisons side played against Nemostars in 3-1 thrillers.

“We won the game, but whoever watched remembers that the Ugandan side was tough,” he added.

Nemostars’ quartet of George Aporu, Tom Paul Amou, Louis Mubangizi and Smith Okumu faced Kenya Prisons then and have all made Uganda’s 12 man squad

“Basing on that I’m sure the national team will be very stubborn especially at their own court.”

“So we must win and top our group H to avoid a top team in round 2,” Chenje added.

Chenje’s trip to Kampala was boosted by the foreign based trio of James Ontere (Cyprus), Michael Chemos (Japan), and Philip Maiyo (Romania).

“The team now has a blend of experience and youth and we are all set,” added Chenje

“I believe the preparations we have had are the best we could have had, and we are looking forward to a great performance in Uganda,” said Chenje.

Chenje’s sentiments were echoed by Maiyo, who is rated among the top 10 best players in Europe.

“We have a very good team, ready to win the pre-qualifiers,” said Maiyo, elder brother to women’s national team and Kenya Prisons player Lydia Maiyo.


Uganda’s final squad

Setters: John Bosco Opendi (Sky), Smith Okumu (Nemostars

Centre players: Dickens Otim (Nkumba)-Captain, Wandawa Philip (Sky), Xavier Atama (KAVC)

Receivers:George Aporu (Nemostars) Vice-Captain, Emma Kato (Sky Volleyball), Tom Paul Amou (Nemostars), Jonathan Akunguzibwe (Sky)

Opposite players:Louis Mubangizi (Nemostars), Nicholas Dheyongera (Sky)

Libero: Emma Elanyu (KAVC) (Libero)

Kenya’s final squad

Setters: Daniel Kiptoo (Prisons), Elisha Aliwa (Defence Forces)

Attackers: James Ontere (KPA and Cyprus), Micheal Chemos (Prisons and Japan), Dennis Mokua (Prisons), Cornelius Kiplagat (GSU), Philip Maiyo (Defence Forces and Romania), Ibrahim Oduor (Prisons)

Centre players: Saul Wafula (Prisons), Sila Makiso (Defense Forces), Cornelius Lagat (GSU)

Libero: Alex Kariuki (GSU)


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