World Cup Qualifiers: Silverbacks Learn Second Round Opponents

Sunday, July 3
•Nigeria 91-72 Uganda

New Groups:

*Group E – Cape Verde, Nigeria, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Angola, Guinea.

*Group F – South Sudan, Tunisia, Cameroon, Egypt, DR Congo, Senegal.

Uganda’s National Men basketball team, the Silverbacks, have learnt their next opponents after advancing to the second round of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.

The Silverbacks lost to Nigeria D’Tigers 91-72 on Sunday at the Kigali Arena, their second loss in as many games in the second window of the first round.

They were earlier beaten 87-78 by Cape Verde but had their fate to the next round sealed after Mali’s withdrawal from the Qualifiers.

Mali forfeited the games after their players stages a strike due unpaid bonuses, a move that saw FIBA subsequently kick them out of the Qualifiers to leave three teams in Group A.

With three teams needed to advance to the next stage, the development meant that Uganda, Nigeria and Cape Verde progressed to the second round automatically.

In the Second Round, the First Round Groups merge to form a new six-team groups: top three in A and C are joined to form new Group E, while Top three in B and D merge to form Group F.

The top three teams in Group C were Ivory Coast, Angola and Guinea, while Central Africa Republic missed out after finishing bottom.

So, Group E will have Cape Verde, Nigeria, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Angola and Guinea.

The other new Group is F with South Sudan, Tunisia, Cameroon, Egypt, DR Congo and Senegal.

All teams have carried over their results from the First Round.

In this Second Round, which is the last phase of qualification, each team will play each new team in their group during two tournaments played over two event windows schedule in August 2022 and February 2023.

This means that Uganda will play Ivory Coast, Angola and Guinea twice. Once in every window.

And then after, the two top teams in each group, along with the best third-placed team, will qualify to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 that will be held in Indonesia, Japan and Philippines.

Uganda Fail To Skip Nigeria Hurdle

Arthur Kaluma. FIBA photo


The Silverbacks died fighting in their game against Cape Verde, in a match that saw the side recover from a 21-point deficit to within a point.

And against Nigeria, the Silverbacks once again trailed by as many as 21 points.

And they tried to dig deep once again, and with a 6-0 run, the closest they got to sniff on Nigeria was 11 points adrift.

Arthur Kaluma led the way with 27 points off 10-of-23 shooting, Ishmail Wainright scored a double double of 18 points and 13 rebounds while Robinson Opong managed 16 points.

But the trio lacked enough support, with the whole bench managing just six points!

And Uganda, despite out-rebounding Nigeria 44-36, had their chances derailed by 19 turnovers.

Sacramento Kings’ Chimezie Metu scored 25, Benjamin Emelogu (19), Uche Iroegbu (16), Michael Patrick Gbinjie and Christian Mekowulu (10) also scored in double figures for the D’Tigers.

Uganda’s Next Fixtures:

First Window (2022)
•August 26: Angola
•August 27: Ivory Coast
•August 28: Guinea

Second Window (2023)
•February 24: Angola
•February 25: Ivory Coast
•February 26: Guinea

*Venues for these windows are yet to be confirmed by FIBA



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