Saturday, November 28
*Uganda 94-90 Morocco
Robinson Opong scored seven threes en route to bagging 29 points as the Silverbacks stunned Morocco in the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Qualifiers.
Opong caught fire in the third quarter where he scored 16 points, powered by corner threes, as his hot hand burnt Morocco.
He shot 7-for-12 from beyond the arc, added two rebounds and three assists before he fouled out to walk off with 1:03 left in the last quarter.
However, the Silverbacks had to endure a nail-bitting finish as Morocco battled their way back into the contest down the stretch.
With about 10 seconds on the clock, Tonny Drilleba missed both of his free-throws on the line but Ishmail Wainwright grabbed a rebound and recycled for a powerful layup as the Silverbacks took a 93-89 lead, and the team held on for an important win of the campaign.
At the final buzzer, the Arena’s DJ blasted Irene Namatovu’s ‘Vaawo Nzine’ song as the boys walked off the court with pride.
Jimmy Enabu contributed 16 points while Deng Geu and Ishmail Wainwright managed 14 points each.
For Morocco, Mohamed Choua scored 25 points before Yassine Haila and Abdelkarim El Haoua added 20 each in a losing effort.
Morocco out rebounded Uganda 50-37 but the Silverbacks managed to negotiate their way to compound the misery of the North Africans.
This is the first victory for the Silverbacks who lost 96-77 to Egypt in the opener. The team is without injured Joseph Ikong and Emmanuel Mugenga.
In the wake of Egypt loss, Silverbacks coach Galanopoulos urged his players to minimise turnovers. The team turned the ball away 13 times to Morocco’s 19.
It is a morale boost for Galanopoulos’ charges who face Cape Verde in the last game of the first window on Sunday.
Silverbacks players and Points Scored:
Starting Five – Tonny Drilleba (5), Jimmy Enabu (16), Robinson Opong (29), Deng Geu (14), Ishmail Wainwright (14)
Bench – James Okello (6), Eric Rwahire (2), Ben Komakech (3), Stanley Mugerwa (0), Titus Lual (5)
Injured – Joseph Ikong, Emmanuel Mugenga.