Silverbacks, the Uganda men’s senior national basketball team are on their way to Kigali, Rwanda for the FIBA Afrobasket tournament slated for August 24 to September 5 2021.
The local based players and officials left on Wednesday morning via Nairobi and will undergo a seven-day mandatory quarantine. They will be joined by the foreign based contingent in Kigali.
Silverbacks who qualified for AfroBasket in July are seeded in Group D with Senegal, Cameroon and South Sudan.
Uganda will tip-off their campaign against Senegal on August 25 and will take on Cameroon on 27th August and South Sudan on 29th August at group stage level.
However, local basketball governing body Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) has been rocked with financial constraints ahead of the event proper, including during the final game of the qualifiers where FUBA had to borrow money to facilitate the team.
“On the 16th day of August 2021, the Government of Uganda through National Council of Sports (NCS) gave us UGX340m apparently for the AfroBasket finals. The money borrowed for the Morocco trip (final game of the qualifiers) was not settled. As management we were in dilemma as to what to do under the circumstances. We had a debt that was accumulating interest every month and at the same time we were running out of time to take the team to Kigali,” FUBA said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We made a business decision to pay the debt and actually paid USD 96000 out of the required the entire team to make sure that the team at least travels to Kigali to beat the 7 days quarantine regulation for people traveling from Uganda, as we sort out other issues of the money. As we stand now, we need Sh360m to cater for all our expenses in Kigali and also pay the remaining balance of the borrowed money,” another part of the statement read.
This will be Uganda’s third appearance at the AfroBasket having qualified for and competed at the last two tournaments – Tunisia 2015 and Senegal/Tunisia 2017.
Uganda Local based contingent for AfroBasket:
Players – Jimmy Enabu (City Oilers), Tonny Drilleba (City Oilers), Ben Komakech (City Oilers), Titus Odeke Lual (UCU Canons), James Okello (City Oilers)
Officials – Mande Juruni (Coach), Andrew Tendo (Assistant Coach), Grace Kwizera (Team Manager), Albert Ahabwe (Assistant Team Manager), Mark Ssali (Government Representative), Isa Mapengo (Video/Photography), Brian Tuka (Media), Ndyamuhaki Emanzi (Media).