Tuesday, August 31
*Nigeria Vs Uganda, 4pm
*South Sudan vs Kenya, 7pm
Uganda and Nigeria will be battling for a place in the quarterfinal of the ongoing 2021 FIBA Afrobasket in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Silverbacks finished third in Group D, after a thrilling loss to South Sudan, to land Group C’s second placed Nigeria in a playoff game.
Against Nigeria, Uganda will hope to put the 88-86 loss behind and focus on a crucial win or die tie with D’Tigers.
It has been a tournament of mixed emotions for Uganda whose preparations were majorly hit by financial constraints.
They lost to Senegal in the opener before overcoming Cameroon in their next group game.
The silverbacks lost to South Sudan on Sunday, in a game Ishmail Wainright missed a game winning shot down the stretch. The Toronto Raptors new recruit bagged the first triple-double of 22 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assist at AfroBasket 2021 before he fouled out.
“It is disappointing in a sense that you always want to win but I was proud of the efforts specifically in the second half, Silverbacks coach George Galanopoulos reflected on the loss against South Sudan.
“ I thought we played better in the second half, we limited them to three offensive rebounds after they had 14 and we had 12 ourselves as opposed to two in the first half so I am super proud of the effort that our guys gave. Every time they step on the floor, they are resilient, they get after it together, they respond to adversity well.”
But against Nigeria, they have to double their efforts if they are to send the 2015 champions back home early.
In 2015, on their way to the final, Nigeria beat Uganda in the groups 98-50 with Chamberlain Emeka Oguchi scoring 30 points while Stephen Omony had 20 for Uganda.
In 2019, at the FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers, Nigeria won two ties in Bamako (102-86) and Lagos (109-66).
Nigeria who came into the 2021 tournament as one of the favourites, beat Mali 81-73 and Kenya 71-55 before falling 77-68 to Ivory Coast and miss out on a top place in Group C.
Coach Mike Brown will bank on Uzodinma Utomi and Benjamin Emelogu who have averaged 14.7 and 13 points respectively.
The winners of their respective groups – Tunisia, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast and Senegal qualified automatically to the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Quarter-Finals.
Guinea frustrated hosts Rwanda while Angola stunned Egypt in Monday’s playoffs to storm the last eight.
Probable Starting Fives:
Uganda – Jimmy Enabu, Adam Seiko, Arthur Kaluma, John Deng Geu, Ishmael Wainright
Nigeria – Stephen Domingo, Ikena Ndugba, Emmanuel Omogbo, Uzodinma Utomi, Benjamin Emelogu
How To Watch – You can catch all the action live on Sanyuka TV and StarTimes Focus/Life.
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