KAMPALA (FIBA Africa Champions Cup Women 2017) - The battle for regional supremacy tips off on Sunday in the Ugandan capital with seven teams vying for the FIBA Africa Zone 5 Clubs Championship trophy through to October 7.
Ugandan giants KCCA Leopards and Equity Bank of Kenya are the clear favorites to the title but they will face a familiar rival in Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), perennial title contenders over the last two decades.
Equity, who will rely on the individual brilliance and teamwork of the impressive trio of Kenyan league MVP Mercy Wanyama, shooting guard Hilda Indasi and point guard Samba Mjomba, are the newbies on the block.
However, the experience of their squad players over the years with former regional runners-up USIU of Kenya, is worthy to behold and can only be taken for granted at any opponents' risk.
KCCA Leopards have the advantage of the home crowd and familiar court advantage but are aware of this challenge and are ready to fight for glory.
"We have prepared better as opposed to last year. Being home is a very big advantage because we have a full squad with the same vision to win," - Halima Mujoma said.
KCCA Leopards captain Halima Mujoma told FIBA.basketball in an exclusive interview that, "We have prepared better as opposed to last year. Being home is a very big advantage because we have a full squad with the same vision to win."
Roger Sserunjogi's side are unbeaten in the domestic league at 14-0 including a hard fought 62-61 win on Friday night over their biggest arch rivals UCU Lady Canons in a scripted perfect precursor for the tournament.
The loss, however, has not dented the university side's hopes of poising a challenge at the regional competition as they did last year in the Tanzanian capital where they fell short of a place at the continental showpiece.
Rwandan side APR will be looking to regain their lost glory while Somalian outfit Horseed will be hoping to make their debut at the event a memorable one. Don Bosco from Tanzania complete the lineup of the seven teams in search of regional dominance.
The top two teams will represent Zone 5 at the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women 2017 that will be hosted in Angola in November.
A Gutsy performance from both sides