The winners were outstanding from the start as they kept their opponents chasing shadows and their display on the opening day only suggest that the Southern Highland city is well prepared to challenge for the trophy this year.
In another game played earlier on the day, Arusha were stunned by South Sudan’s Citizens 89-72, while Garowe, a team formed by Somalia Diasporas, thrashed Juba of South Sudan 90-69.
Dar es Salaam ladies, Dar Dream Queens, were set to lock horns with Kampala at the same venue late, while their brothers -- Dar Dream team -- were to battle with Mbeya City and later Citizen were to face Cairo in their second match of the day. Tanga were scheduled to face Hargesia from Somalia.
According to the Inter-cities Basketball Foundation (EBF) Board Secretary General, Mbaga Mwambona, only three ladies teams are taking part in the event.
He named the teams as hosts Dar es Salaam, Kampala and defending champions Nairobi, which was expected to be in Dar es Salaam late Tuesday evening.
Mwambona also confirmed that Mwanza, popularly known as The Rock City, confirmed their withdrawal from the event a day before the throw off.
He said Mwanza decided to withdraw from the event due to financial constraints. He also named other cities which had earlier shown interest of taking part in the event but have so far not shown up as Bujumbura (Burundi), Kigali (Rwanda), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Asmara (Eritrea).
“We were expecting the four cities in the event, but we heard nothing from them recently and it is almost certain that they will not be coming for the event,” said Mwambona.
The six-day event, which will reach its climax on Sunday, brings together cities of Mbeya, Arusha, Tanga, Garowe and Hargeisa (Somalia), Juba and Citizen (South Sudan), Cairo (Egypt) and the hosts Dar es Salaam.
The tournament title holders in the men’s category are Uganda’s Mukono City who have failed to defend their title after withdrawing from the event due to financial hold back, while Kenya’s Nairobi are the women’s title holders.
The previous event was held in Kampala, Uganda last year.