Basket Ball

Afrobasket Qualifiers: Silverbacks Braced For Early Preps For Second Window

The Silverbacks will start the preparations for the second window of the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Qualifiers this month.

After an impressive campaign in the first window in Alexandria, Egypt, the team returned to a heroic welcome.

The team has been treated to a luncheon on Thursday after a press briefing at Copper Chimney.

The Silverbacks having Lunch on Thursday. Mugabi Arts

“We are very proud for the good things happening in Basketball,” started NCS General secretary Dr Patrick Bernard Ogwel.

“I commend FUBA for planning well for the national team, they are taking us to the right place.

“I understand that there are some challenges of government funding, but it should be all our effort to make a case for more.

“As Government, We shall ensure that you will continue with your good preparations. My appeal to players is that this is a very critical moment, you must have the discipline required, and FUBA, you should work in line with Government in terms of Covid19 guidelines.”

L-R: Made Juruni, Tony Drilleba, Andrew Tendo (back), Jimmy Enabu, James Okello, Ben Komakech, Joseph Ikong and Nasser Sserunjogi. Mugabi Arts photography

The team had to solicit money to fund the trip to Alexandria where they held a camp before tip-off but could later receive Sh330m from National Council of Sports.

“I told my boys that it will be embarrassing to leave Egypt without a single win given the hardships we went through,” FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi stated. “And I am happy that the boys listened to me.”

“I made them aware that you can only justify the issue of government funding by delivering.”

FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi during a press interview

Despite falling 77-96 to Egypt in the opener on November 27, Silverbacks beat Morocco 94-90 before overcoming Cape Verde 101-98 in the last group game.

Consequently, Uganda ended Group E second with five points below Egypt who has a 100% record.

The top three teams after the second window in February 19-21 at a yet to be known venue, will automatically qualify to FIBA Afrobasket set in Kigali, Rwanda from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

The second window where Uganda will go head to head against Group E teams again in Cape Verde, Morocco and Egypt.

National team General Manager Haji Muhammad Santur said: “It took a lot of effort to go in Egypt, and Uganda has a big opportunity and chance to qualify. We will need more government support.”

Foreign contingent Ishmail Wainwright, Eric Rwahire, Emmanuel Mugenga, Robinson Opong and Deng Geu connected back to their teams.

Ishmail Wainwright in action. FIBA

FUBA has confirmed that the Silverbacks will have a two-week break before the locally based players resume training on December 15, 2020 in a non residential training.

After, the team will have more two weeks in residential camp together with Foreign based contingent before the games tip off.

Mathematically, Uganda will need one win in February window to return to the Afrobasket for a third straight year after appearances in 2015 and 2017.

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