Silverbacks (Uganda men’s national basketball team) were initially meant to hold a 10-day training camp in Cairo, Egypt last month ahead of their Afrobasket qualifier matches against Morocco and Cape Verde slated for 8th and 15th July respectively.
However, due to financial constraints, the Cairo camp was delayed and was later shortened to just four days with two training sessions held per day (one in the morning and the other in the evening).
The team will be traveling to Rabat today, Saturday, 3rd July where they will continue preparing for their game against Morocco.
Albeit the team’s initial plans getting delayed due to financial related issues, Head Coach George Galanopoulos says that he’s not worried about the time factor but instead has his eyes focused on the Morocco game (for now) which is less than a week away.
“It doesn’t matter how much time we have, or whether or not we think it’s inadequate. The time we have is what we have. We gonna do the best we can to prepare and win this game,” Galanopoulos said.
About the team’s chances of beating Morocco, Galanopoulos says that they are trusting the process and possibly deliver victory on matchday.
“We are not thinking about what our chances are, we are just taking it (preparations) day by day, practice by practice and preparing as best as we can so that we can win this game,” Galanopoulos noted.
Three new players, Ghedi Abdi Hakim Mohamed, Kieran Zziwa and Arthur Kaluma will make their debuts for the Silverbacks and Galanopoulos says that the trio are a possible good addition to the side.
“I am very excited about working with everybody on the team. The new guys that we have are very talented and are good people who are going to fit in well with us,” Galanopoulos admitted.
Ahead of tip-off, Galanopoulos says that they now aim to maximize the available time in the gym, capitalize on every drill, every practice and possibly they will reap the fruits of their hard work.
If Silverbacks win against Morocco, they will automatically qualify for the Afrobasket finals, but if not they will have to play Cape Verde on 15th July and if triumphant they will qualify for the said finals.
However, if Silverbacks lose all their Group E 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.
Silverbacks Afrobasket Qualifiers Team:
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.