Uganda need nothing but victory to qualify for Afrobasket due August 24 to September 5th in Kigali, Rwanda.
Event: FIBA Afrobasket Qualifiers – Group E
Match: Morocco Vs Uganda
Date: Thursday, July 8
Venue: Salle Omnisports El Bouazzaoui, Sale (Morocco)
Time: 9pm (EAT)
How To Watch – StarTimes Uganda (Sports life channel)
Morocco play host to Uganda in a rescheduled 2021 FIBA Afrobasket qualification Group E game.
Uganda need nothing but victory to qualify for Afrobasket due August 24 to September 5th in Kigali, Rwanda while Morocco will need victory to have a qualification chance.
Uganda saw their second window games postponed on February 18 this year after five members of their delegation tested positive to COVID-19 in Tunisia.
In March, FIBA later reschedule Uganda’s pending Group E games against Morocco, Cape Verde and Egypt.
Having sealed their qualification as table leaders, Egypt will not honour Uganda’s fixture meaning that the Silverbacks have to face only Morocco and Cape Verde.
However, Uganda who need one win to qualify, may not honour Cape Verde’ fixture if they beat Morocco, deeming it unnecessary having achieved qualification then.
Probable Starting 5s
*Morocco – Abdelali El Hrichi, Sofiane Benhmim, Omar El Inani, Mohammed Choua, Badr Ouzouka
*Uganda – Jimmy Enabu, Robinson Opong, Eric Rwahire, Arthur Kaluma, Ishmail Wainright
- Uganda want to return to Afrobasket for a third straight time having played at 2015 and 2017 championships.
- Morocco are looking for their 21st appearance, which would be their 11th consecutive qualification since missing out on 1997 tournament in Dakar.
The Journey So Far:
*Uganda won two of three games in the first window including a 94-90 win against Morocco
Uganda’s first round games:
Egypt 96-77 Uganda
Uganda 94-90 Morocco
Uganda 101-98 Cape Verde
*Morocco left first window empty handed but beat Cape Verde in the second.
1st Window (Cairo)
Morocco 73-80 Cape Verde
Uganda 94-90 Morocco
Morocco 76-99 Uganda
2nd Window (Monastir)
Cape Verde 69-72 Morocco
Morocco 84-59 Egypt
Uganda averaged 90.7 points against Morocco’s 74.4 points so far.
Wainright To Determine Silverbacks Ceiling
Uganda will hope that key player Ishmael Wainright will be at his best against Morocco on Thursday.
The SIG Strasbourg Forward jetted in on Tuesday after a short leave with his family following the end of the LNB Pro A (France basketball League top tier).
The 26-year old holds the key for Uganda and will be asked to replicate his first window heroics that saw the former Baylor player average 21.3 points in the three games.
Ish, 6’5, will however need strong backup from role players including Igualatorio Cantabria Estela’s Shooting Guard Robinson Opong who scored 29 points as Uganda staged a 34-26 third quarter blitz to beat Morocco 94-90 in November last year.
Hamilton Honey Badgers’ Small forward Eric Rwahire, Captain Jimmy Enabu, Arthur Kaluma and John Deng Geu will all be asked to step up on a crucial night.
Keiran Zziwa and Mohamed Ghedi will be hoping to make their dream debuts count
Mohammed Choua Unstoppable
Small forward Mohammed Choua leads Morocco’s surge to Afrobasket.
Choua comes with no prescription having played at the 2017 Afrobasket finals where he recorded most rebounds, steals and blocks for Morocco.
In November last year, he drilled in 25 points and 14 rebounds in losing effort against Uganda.
The team has a new coach in Labib El Homrabi, replacing Said Bouzidi, whose first assignment does not come bigger than Uganda.
Homrabi will not be with a couple of foreign-based players due to healthy protocols in travel arrangements.
Abdelali El Hrichi of Kawkab Marrakech, who is averaging 15.3 points in this competition, will be another key player for the hosts.
The Full Squads
Morocco Squad – Mustapha Khalfi, Abdelhakim Zouita, Mohamed Chouaa, Soufiane Benhmim, Reda Harras, Sofiane Kourdou, Zakaria El Mesbahi, Badr Ouzouka, Mohammed Chaoui, Othmane Gana, Abdelali El Hrichi, Oussama Benabou, Yassine Hayla, Wael Habibi, Omar El Inani, Jihad Benchlikha, Hamza Foulani, Abdelkerim El Houa, Anas El Moussaoui, Soufiane Nadim
Uganda Squad – Jimmy Enabu (City Oilers), Tonny Drilleba (City Oilers), James Okello (City Oilers), Ben Komakech (City Oilers), Titus Odeke Lual (UCU Canons), Robinson Odoch Opong (Canada), Eric Rwahire (Canada), Keiran Zziwa (Canada), Mohamed Ghedi Abdihakim (USA), John Deng Geu (Denmark(, Ishmail Wainwright (France), Arthur Kaluma (USA)