The Uganda men’s national basketball team, Silverbacks are scheduled to travel to Morroco on Tuesday, 29th June for their Afrobasket qualifier clash (second window) slated for July 8th.
If Silverbacks win against Morocco, they will automatically qualify for the Afrobasket finals, but if not they will play Cape Verde on 15th July and if triumphant they will qualify for the said finals.
In the first window held in November 2020, Uganda seeded in Group B won two matches, beating Morocco 94-90 and Cape Verde 101-98. However, they lost 96-77 to hosts Egypt.
Uganda has qualified for and competed at the last two Afrobasket tournaments – Tunisia 2015 and Senegal/Tunisia 2017, and according to team Captain Jimmy Enabu, the team will possibly make it to the prestigious continental showpiece for a third straight time.
“Our expectation is to qualify (for Afrobasket finals), it’s a realistic expectation. The team that has been put together is legit, including some new faces,” Enabu, City Oilers guard said adding that, “we’re building on what we did in the first window and we are looking forward to a good competition.”
Albeit the recent ban on sports activities in Uganda as a Covid-19 preventive measure by government, Enabu says that the players are still in good shape but the fitness doubts are justifiable.
“Obviously because of no access to basketball courts and playing fields, we have been playing at home, a lot of preparation has been indoor. But despite all these, we are ready,” Enabu added.
However, if Silverbacks lose all their upcoming qualifier games, it will then go down to goal difference with Morocco needing a +8 win over Uganda while Cape Verde need a +6 win to come atop Uganda. Egypt is already qualified for the finals but the top three teams from each group and a wildcard will form the 16 teams that will qualify for Afrobasket finals.
The event proper, FIBA AfroBasket is scheduled to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from August 24 to September 5 2021.
Jimmy Enabu (City Oilers), James Okello (City Oilers), Tonny Drileba (City Oilers), Benjamin Komakech (City Oilers), Titus Odeke (UCU Canons), Ronson Odoch Opong (Canada), Eric Rwahwire (Canada), Keiran Zziwa (Canada), Ghedi Muhamed (USA), Geu Dengeu John (Denmark), Ishmail Wainright (France) and Arthur Kaluma (USA).
George Galanopoulos, Mandy Juruni, Michael Schmitz and Andrew Tendo Senyondwa.