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
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
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.