YAOUNDE (AfroBasket Women 2015) - Flavia Oketcho and her Uganda national team headed to Yaounde, Cameroon, for their first appearance at AfroBasket Women in more than decade with low expectations but they return home having learned valuable lessons.
"I think we could have done a lot better," the 29-year-old point guard told FIBA.com.
"It took us a lot to believe in ourselves as a team. I think that experience usually comes with experience, which we are trying to gain."
Oketcho finished her Group Phase campaign averaging 6.8 points and 2.6 assist per game. However, she says, it was Uganda's success at AfroBasket Women 2015 that mattered most.
"We have learnt a lot from here," she noted.
We have learnt that we need to prepare much earlier than we did as a country. - Oketcho
"We did some research and we concluded that some of the teams that we spoke to had a lot of time to prepare for this tournament.
"We didn't know it takes this much work, but now that we do we are willing to work in order to scope the best position that we can."
For Oketcho, Uganda's 55-43 win over South Africa in Group A was indicative of the team's potential.
The win echoed back in the Eastern African country.
In Thursday's first day of the battles to determine 9-12 places, Uganda came back from a 10-point deficit with three minutes remaining to seal a 75-73 win over Algeria behind a team-high 23 points by Oketcho.
And, moving forward, things should be handled differently.
"It was quite an experience because of the teams that we faced. Those were really tough teams," Oketcho said of playing in Group A against hosts Cameroon, Mali, Gabon, Mozambique and South Africa.
"All of us have never played at this level.
"Personally, I have learnt a lot. For example, at first when we were playing them we did not know what the teams will look like.
"We thought that some of the teams are going to be really tall, but getting here we found that we actually could match up [with] some of them, and beat them with speed. The only problem was that we realised it a bit late," the KCCA guard pointed out.