Mariam Tamale saved the Uganda national U-18 girls' side, when they put up one of the strongest come backs so far at the on going Africa Zone 5 tournament, to level the scores at 47-47 against Kenya at Lugogo indoor Stadium last evening.
The 17-year old Nabisunsa girls student was only given four playing minutes, which not only opened the eyes of her coaches, but also gave Uganda some hope of a representative at the prestigious continental championships in Cairo, Egypt.
There was no overtime and the decider between the two teams is on tomorrow.
The Kenyans who have enjoyed playing moments in Uganda both at club and national level, were rallying to a 12-point lead, four minutes, thirty seconds to go before the Ugandan coach Hamsa Nyambogo, seemingly out of sorts introduced Tamale for Angela Namilimu.
With her speed dribbling and passing, Uganda made five unanswered baskets through Halima Nabusimba (11 points) and Dorothy Kyamazima (4 points) and Mariam made one from the charity line to make it 46-46. She would have won the game for Uganda had she converted both free throws in the last ten seconds, before the Kenyans pulled one through Joyce Misita.
However, the boys bowed out of contention after falling 100-83 to the Rwandese counterparts. They play Sudan in a formality game tomorrow evening.