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EAC GAMES: UGANDAN DEFENSE, MALINGA SILENCE BURUNDI
Team Uganda continued its dominance at the 1st East Africa Community (EAC) Games with a thrilling 3-1 victory for the men’s national volleyball team over hosts Burundi in the capital Bujumbura on Tuesday.
Star-studded Uganda, including professionals Daudi Okello, Ivan Ongom and Kathbert Malinga, were made to work for their victory with the crowd largely against them.
Quick out of the blocks, power attacker Okello dominated the first set as Uganda prevailed 25-18.
Sports state Minister, Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi, National Council of Sports (NCS) Chairman, Mr. Bosco Onyik and the Ag. General Secretary, Dr. Patrick Ogwel were among the many worried faces as Burundi fought back to tie the game with a 25-23 result in the second set.
Bujumbura received its loudest cheer in ages. There was every reason to believe.
Coach Nason Bwesigye reacted by withdrawing Uganda’s best player Okello Ongom, Malinga and George Aporu marshalled the attack from thereon. However, the defense improved a great deal too.
Normal service was restored with 25-19 and 25-20 victories in the third and fourth sets respectively to quieten the locals. Malinga was stellar in this segment of the game.