Over 20 teams are geared up to grace the 7th annual edition of the JOVOC Open Basketball tournament set for the weekend.
The tournament which started as a western region basketball championship has now attracted teams from the central region that will be making a long trip to Mbarara to grace the two day event set for March 8 and 9.
In the boys’ university category, five time defending champions Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi will be put to test when they meet new entrants Uganda Christian University, Ndejje, Kyambogo University and last year’s first runners-runners-up MUBS.
On the other hand, in the ladies’ category, four time champions Uganda Martyrs University ladies who overcame MUBS last year to claim the league title will be expected to put up a good show against Mbarara University and their bitter rivals UCU.
The universities will open the tournament on Friday 8th March 2019 while their secondary school counterparts will have their tournament on Saturday March 9.
In the boys’ secondary schools’ category, the hosts JOVOC will set out to claim their title from defending champions Masaka SS who defeated International Window School in the finals last year.
Having reached the semi- final last year, the Wakiso based Bethel Covenant College will threaten to claim the title.
Two time champions, Nyakasura School and Kabale Trinity College are also expected to put up a challenge for the title in this year’s championship as well as, Ntare school, Mbarara high school, Katatumba academy, Ibanda SS, St. Mary’s college Rushoroza, Kitabi seminary.
New entrants Mpanga parents and Fort Portal secondary school will also be up for the challenge.
In the Girls secondary schools’ category, three time champions Maryhill high School are expected to battle it out with holders Exodus College from Wakiso who last year claimed the title for the first time.
The two rivals will be expected to put up a good show against new entrants Nabisunsa girls, Mt. St. Mary’s Namagunga, St. Noa girls SS, St. Mary’s Kitende and home teams St. Mary’s Rushoroza, St. Mary’s Vocational SS Kyamuhunga and Nakivale SS.
The JOVOC tournament has seen leaps and bounds each year since its inception with 11 teams participating in 2013 whereas the number grew in 2015(21), 2016(26),2017(30) and a record 35 teams last year.