By George Katongole
The 9th edition of the Top 100 Mid-sized Companies’ Survey will commence today with the aim of ensuring businesses Uganda is confident of claiming the first Baseball Africa Cup, to be played in Johannesburg starting tomorrow until Sunday.
Uganda will open their account against Burkina Faso, who outscored both Nigeria and Ghana to qualify as Zone West winners. But the Ugandans are set to claim their stake.
Head Coach Katsuhisa Tanaka has included several veterans in the squad that earned first place at Bechtel Baseball Park in Nairobi early this month.
Tanaka, who claims Uganda has a lot of potential said it is a matter of time that the country is number one in Africa.
The team has top-level pitchers including skipper Bernard Adei. Infielder Paul Wafula, a home run hitter, will also have his five years of training in Japan on display. Bernard Okello, another aggressive infielder will be in the cast as well as outfielder Robert Okello, who has twice been in the Major League Baseball elite camp. He was named MVP in the Nairobi qualifiers. Pitcher Eric Kato, who throws under arm is also expected to give his opponents a hard time too.
Yet the verve of Job Echon’s youth, a home run hitter who impressed during the 2012 World Series, will supplement the quiet and smooth pitcher David Arago as well as respected catcher Justine Maxisim, who excelled in the 2012 World Series.
Going for gold
Uganda landed in Johannesburg yesterday aiming to steal the number one place from the hosts, South Africa. The team will take on Burkina Faso to open the round robin, tomorrow. South Africa, Zimbabwe and Nigeria complete a very competitive field of rivals for Uganda.
The winner of the Africa Cup will advance to the Europe-Africa Olympic Qualifier, to be staged in Parma and Bologna, Italy, from September 18-22. The winner of the tournament played in Italy will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while the runner-up will advance to the final qualifier, to be played in Chinese Taipei in early 2020.
The team: David Arago, Michael Omer, Allan Kabenge, Isaac Odongo, Eric Kato, Bernard Adei, Job Echon, Jerry Megolonyo Omara, Nicholas Alumai, Dennis Achidri, Justine Maxisim, Ivan Ochom, Daniel Alio, Paul Wafula, Bernard Okello, George Drani, Robert Okello, Joseph Droti, Jimmy Ssekandi and Tonny Kefa.
Baseball Africa Cup
Team Uganda schedule
Boksburg Baseball Club, J’burg
May 1: Burkina Faso vs Uganda, 11am
May 2: Uganda vs S. Africa, 11am
May 3: Zimbabwe vs Uganda, 11am
May 4: Nigeria vs Uganda, 11am