Sri Lanka, USA show signs of improvement

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USA are yet to win from four matches, but that is not about to dampen their spirits.

They have exhibited remarkable improvement after every game and almost even pulled off a win against Kenya Wednesday.

At one point, they led before eventually succumbing to a fourth defeat in the third World University Netball Championships at Makerere.

“For us this has been yet another learning point. Most of the girls on this team have hardly played netball for a year,” said Sonya Ottaway, the Netball America boss.

It was team captain and goal shooter Amara Mbonwu again lifting USA before they succumbed to defeat to a more resilient Kenya at Makerere University new indoor facility.

Away from their short comings on court, USA have had a huge impact elswewhere.

On Wednesday, they had spirited backing of youths from Mbuya slum- a Kampala suburb. With a KFC pack and a Coke each, the youths cheered USA into an early lead.

The American started off their trip to Uganda on Saturday with a friendly against the same youths in Mbuya.

“We want to reach out to the less privileged. It is important for my girls to realise that they have to give back to society,” explained Ottaway.

Ottaway also dismissed the widely held belief in Kampala that USA is a very wealthy team.

“Some of these are underprivileged. One of them is even homeless because her parents have issues with drugs. We also had to fundraise to make this trip.”

Sri Lanka like USA are also yet to win a match, but have also had a lot to learn.

“We knew we were coming into a very competitive event. Much as we are losing, we have also had our lessons that will make us a much better team next time,” said wing attacker Tushani Ranawaka.

One thing Sri Lanka will have to seriously consider is to scout for tall players. This was one area that accounted for their 133- 24 whipping by Uganda.

Uganda’s shooter Nuba Mary, standing at 6ft 7in, had a field day completely unchallenged in all aerial play.

But Sri Lanka also had their moments with goal attacker Anjalee Amaradasa scoring from a distance. This always got the Ugandan defence, who were expecting a physical challenge, off guard.

“Shooting from a distance is one area we shall have to perfect to overcome more physical sides like Uganda and South Africa,” stated an official.

Singapore, who lost to South Africa 92-11, were also of a similar view.

“South Africa and Uganda are much bigger than us. We have to improve on our speed and shooting,” noted Singapore captain Tabitha Ong.

England won the inaugural tournament in 2012 in Cape Town after beating the hosts. South Africa, however, bounced back stronger in the next edition in Miami in 2016.

They beat Jamaica 43-39 in the final to emerge champions. In the semi-final they beat Uganda, who eventually lost to Australia in the brozne medal game.

Host nations organise the biennial event together with the Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU).

It is a women's indoor tournament with a maximum of 12 teams competing.  A total of 12 competitors and five officials are allowed per team.

Uganda, a fast growing netball country, has featured in all editions of the competitions.

Monday results

South Africa 117 USA 4

Zimbabwe 44 Sri Lanka 31

Singapore 39 Kenya 38

Uganda 102 USA 16

Tuesday results

Uganda 105 v Kenya 15

South Africa116 v Sri Lanka 6

Zimbabwe 40 v USA 28

Uganda 77 v Singapore 19


Zimbabwe 28 v Kenya 41

12pm- South Africa 92 v Singapore 11

2pm- Uganda 133 v Sri Lanka 24

4pm- USA 40 v Kenya 44

6pm South Africa v Zimbabwe


10am-Singapore v USA

12pm-Sri Lanka v Kenya

2pm-Uganda v Zimbabwe

4pm-Singapore v Sri Lanka