Thursday, June 20
*Uganda 66-64 Select Team
(20-18, 14-16, 17-14, 15-16)
Uganda’s National Basketball team, the Silverbacks, beat Select team 66-64 in a friendly played at Indoor Arena in Lugogo, Kampala.
Silverbacks coach George Galanopoulos revealed after the game that there have been some improvement ever since the boys entered residential camp.
As expected, the select team which started on court with Innocent Ochera (Ndejje), Mike Buzangu (Warriors), David Deng (UCU Canons), Landry Ndikumana (Oilers) and Amisi ‘Carmelo’ Saidi (Warriors) came determined to stop the Silverbacks but the country’s representatives at the coming Zone five set the tone to lead the first quarter 20-18 and did not look back.
The Silverbacks started with Jimmy Enabu, Deng Geu, Tonny Drilleba, Robinson Opong and Brandon Davies.
“We are better than we were yesterday and a day before. That is a team, and all you wanna see is growth. Am proud of their efforts tonight, i thought we played together and that is most important,” commented George.
“There are many things that we need to improve, obviously, with the limited time we have been together we expected not to be perfect tonight, I had told the guys that we are ok with that, that we are going to make mistakes and as long as we understand them. We will watch this film of the game and practice our next steps.”
Barcelona’s Brandon Davies showed his class – The former NBA player shot 5-8 to garner 13 points. He picked 10 rebounds to complete his double double from the 20 minutes he was on court. His passing, shot, court movement and not to forget the swag were excellent.
Geoffrey Soro played like he had a point to prove, and yes, he impressed with eight points. Despite not contributing many points, Deng Geu and Robinson Opong were impressive.
“Brandon is great,” coach George noted. “He is good talent but he is even a better person and teammate. We were looking for someone who could fill in the group, and who can mix well with the guys because chemistry is very important.”
The select squad, despite trailing much of the time, gave the Silverbacks a big run for their money and revealed loopholes and weak links in the national team.
Coached by Brian Wathum and Hajji Mohammed Santur – Michael Buzangu and warriors team mate Amisi ‘Carmelo’ Saidi scored 15 and 14 points respectively. The latter picked 12 rebounds.
Uganda will face Egypt, Kenya and Rwanda among others at this year’s FIBA Africa Zone five Championship set in Kampala starting on June 26.
Silverbacks players and their points:
Isaac Lugudde (7), Jimmy Enabu (7), Robinson Opong (6), Josh Johnson (0), Ben Komakech (3), Deng Geu (4), James Okello (5), Syrus Kiviiri (6), Tonny Drilleba (4), Brandon Davies (13), Joseph Ikong (3), Geoffrey Soro (8), Ivan Muhwezi (0).