Wainwright Stars As Silverbacks Overcome Cape Verde For Second Win

Friday, November 27
*Egypt 96-77 Uganda
*Morocco 73-80 Cape Verde

Saturday, November 28
*Uganda 94-90 Morocco
*Cape Verde 82-91 Egypt

Sunday, November 29
*Uganda 101-98 Cape Verde
*Morocco 76-99 Egypt

Ishmail Wainwright steered Silverbacks to a thrilling 101-98 victory against Cape Verde in their penultimate group E game of the first window of the 2021 FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers in Alexandria.

Wainwright, with 36 minutes on court, led the way with a game high 36 points as the Silverbacks picked their second win after beating Morocco.

The US-based big man shot 14-for-18 on the floor, including five threes. He added 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Jimmy Enabu and Deng Geu had 17 points each while Robinson Opong added 16.

Ishmail Wainwright floats in the air for a two. FIBA

Wainwright’s 22 points in the first half handed Uganda a 52-43 lead at long break but Cape Verde, inspired by Joel Almeida and Jeffrey Nunez Xavier, could later stage a come back.

Cape Verde went on a 9-point lead at restart, before outscoring Uganda 33-22 in the third quarter to take a slender two point advantage in the last quarter.

After early fourth quarter exchanges, with the lead swinging in favour of both sides back and forth, Wainwright drilled in a deep three amidst a trap before Enabu followed his steal with an easy lay up to put the Silverbacks in control with a 94-89 lead with two minutes ten seconds (2:10) on clock. And the side held on for another nail-biting finish.

Yeahhhhh: Silverbacks bench gives the boys an applause after a deep three. FIBA

Next for the Silverbacks is the second window which tips off on February 19, 2021 at a yet to be confirmed venue.

The top three teams in Group E (Egypt, Uganda, Cape Verde and Morocco) will automatically qualify for the FIBA Afrobasket in Kigali, Rwanda next year.

With two wins already, the Silverbacks have put themselves on the verge of a third straight return on the continent after previous appearances in 2015 and 2017.

Jimmy Enabu managed to remain in character throughout. FIBA

The team, under coaches George Galanopoulos, Mande Juruni and Andrew Tendo, suffered a big blow when they registered two injuries to Emmanuel Mugenga and Joseph Ikong prior to the Egypt opener.

The Silverbacks moved toe-to-toe with Egypt before late turnovers cost the side to suffer a loss in their first game.

Opong drilled in seven threes on Saturday against Morocco to get Uganda off the mark at Ittihad Arena.

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