Uganda’s men’s national basketball team, the Silverbacks has been flagged off to represent the country in the second window of the FIBA Afro Basket 2021 qualifiers.
The qualifiers will take place between February 18 and 21, 2021 in Monsair, Tunisia
After a six-week intense training camp for the home-based players, 13 made the cut to represent the country at the second window of the qualifiers.
Among these are eight home-based and five foreign-based players.
The locally-based players headed by national team assistant coach Mande Juruni and skipper Jimmy Enabu were flagged of by National Council of Sports board chairman Donald Rukare in the company of General Secretary Patrick Ogwel among others.
“This particular trip is funded by the government of Uganda. We have approved a total of shs334 million for the Tunisia trip. We, therefore, don’t have any doubt for our team in terms of logistics they might need for their participation. On behalf of my team at the National Council of Sports, I wish the national team success,”Ogwel told Sanyuka television.
Drawn in group E with Egypt, Morocco and Cape Verde, Uganda is currently second with five points in the group topped by Egypt with six points after the first qualifying window.
Assistant coach Mandy Juruni is aware of the task that lies ahead and had this to say.
“Players are always ready to play against any team. We are very confident in the abilities that we have. As much as we respect them(other teams), they also respect us. We have already played the first window and we have managed to win two out of three and so I believe they don’t look at Uganda as a small team and that’s a very good thing for us. It’s all about belief, focus and preparation and we have done that very well,”Juruni said.
Team captain, Jimmy Enabu couldn’t agree more
“The second leg is usually tougher than the first leg because of teams being familiar with each other but we expect to be better in the second window,” the team captain said.
“We are one win away to qualify for the Afro basket championship and this is something we have been looking forward to, for a long time and that’s where the fire comes from”
This will be the final window of the FIBA Afro basket 2021 qualifiers and the silverbacks will be looking at booking a slot in the championship finals which will be held in August, in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
The local-based contingent that departed today aboard Emirates airlines will join the foreign-based players in Tunisia.