Silverbacks coach Mande Juruni has accounted for the summoning of Caesar Kizito to the National team.
Kizito was finally summoned to the Silverbacks as the side start preparations for the second window of the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Qualifiers.
Kizito’s inclusion comes after he was left out of the squad that played in the first window, despite his tremendous display in the National Basketball League.
“We have a pool of about 50 players for the National team and definitely when we are preparing for the tournament we cannot call them all,” Juruni said.
“We called in 12 at a time depending on the needs that we really want as a team, so looking at the first window we already lost a player through injury, (Emmanuel) Mugenga, who is a three and a two in one.
“So we really needed to cover that gap up and we thought Caesar would be given a chance for that.”
Uganda beat Morocco and Cape Verde after falling to hosts Egypt in the first game in Alexandria.
Juruni says that the main focus for the second window will be to improve on the team’s defence and so there was need for reinforcements.
“If you look at the team performance defensively, we have to improve it as a whole, so we will be adding a few players from here and also one or two from out there who will be joining the rest of the guys who made it last time.
“If you look at the whole qualifiers including the other groups, Uganda is ranked among the last teams in terms of defense, so we take that very seriously and we want to see how we can improve on that, and its going to be our focus fr now during this camp.”
The team started training on Monday at Africa Bible University in Lubowa.
The Silverbacks were initially scheduled to tip off training on December 15 last year.
Juruni explained: “We didn’t start training on December 15 as initially scheduled because we couldn’t access Lugogo and keeping the S.O.Ps because indoor sports was still on lockdown, so we had to get the best alternative, so we came here (Lubowa) and we had three sessions before Christmas and after we gave players a 10 day-break to go and be with their families before coming back.
“So we are going to be having four session every week until when we get it up. I believe by that time we will ready and in better shape.”
The second window is scheduled in February 19-21, with the host venue yet to be confirmed by FIBA.
The top three teams after the second window in February will automatically qualify for Afrobasket finals in Kigali Rwanda due August 24 to September 5, 2021