Afrobasket Qualifiers: Can Uganda’s Reliance on Defense Stop Egypt?

The Uganda Basketball team, the Silverbacks will today faceoff with Egypt at Monastir, Tunisia in their campaign to qualify for the FIBA Afro basket 2021.
Egypt defeated Uganda in the last games played at Lugogo MTN Arena

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The Uganda Basketball team, the Silverbacks will today night face-off against Egypt at Monastir, Tunisia in their campaign to qualify for the FIBA Afro basket 2021. 

Uganda sits second in the Group E table just after Egypt after a thrilling performance in the first round played in Egypt late last year. Uganda lost to Egypt but defeated Cape Verde and Morocco who follow in the table standings respectively.     


The Silverbacks led by Captain Jimmy Enabu and United States-based player Ishmail Wainright will face a familiar yet tough opponent in the Pharaohs who are led by Abdelhalim Amr and Ahmed Metwaly.  

Now as the Silverbacks battle the Pharaohs in the second round, the team has put its focus on defense, and hopefully, they upset Egypt. Uganda's player Ismail Wainright in the first round was a major threat on both ends of the court and Uganda is hoping for another mind-blowing performance from him. Ismail averaged 21.3 per game in the 2020 games.  

One of Silverbacks' coaches Mande Juruni says that the team has improved on its defense and they hope to win against Egypt.

“We have put our effort on defense and looking at areas where we didn’t perform well last year to improve. So we hope to play better defense than the way we played last year, If we do this, with the players we have, we can play well against any team,” says Juruni.  

He says now in the camp, they are confident of playing all the teams, especially because they have played them already. Juruni adds that it won’t be an easy game against Egypt, but added that they are determined to get a good result.

Ambrose Tashobya, who has seen the Silverbacks team grow says that the Silverbacks are getting better and better, and with the dedication and commitment but also players they have, they can perform well. He says its already a good team that in some games Uganda goes neck to neck with Egypt, a top-tier team.

Tashobya says that as long as Ugandan basketball keeps growing, we will head there.        

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Silverbacks' new forward Arthur Kaluma who is based in the US said he is proud to join the team and will offer his versatility to the team. He says as a team they are ready for the games.

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Uganda has never won against five-time African champions Egypt on any of the basketball games since their Afro basketball debuted in 2014.  

Uganda lost to Egypt in the 2014,2017, 2019 and in 2020. In the 2020 qualifiers, Egypt defeated Uganda 96-77 in the games played in Alexandria, Egypt. It is only the Ugandan women National team, the Gazelles that defeated Egypt women with a huge 78-45 in 2015 Afrobasket Qualifiers.  

Uganda will play today at 10:00 pm at the Salle Mohammed Mzali Arena in Monastir, Tunisia. The Afrobasket will be played in August in Kigali Rwanda. Uganda is one win away from qualification.

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