Uganda: Silverbacks Ready for Second Chance

For a moment, the international basketball body, Fiba, had their local affiliate, Fuba, worried about the fate of the men's basketball team, Silverbacks, in regards to the 2021 Afrobasket.

Days after Uganda were asked to leave the bubble that had Group E teams competing in Tunisia, due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the camp, Fiba put out a list of qualified nations.

Shockingly, that list had Cape Verde and Morocco. This was not good for Uganda as the Silverbacks had already beaten the two sides.

One more win was required to confirm qualification to a third straight continental showpiece set for August 24-September 5 in Kigali, Rwanda.

Fiba would later clarify that games involving Uganda would be played between June 15 and July 15to confirm which two sides joined Egypt at the finals. There was a sigh of relief here.

Egypt made light work of everyone in the group to confirm their place and will not take part in the remainder of the qualifiers.

One more win

For Uganda, one win is enough. If it comes against Morocco on July 8, there will be no need of playing Cape Verde.

The latter clash is penciled in for July 15, if necessary.

The eternal cry over lack of facilities has also come back to bite Uganda. The lack of one that meets the required standards implies that Fuba have a huge cost to bear.

They must invest in a trip to Morocco, first. If Uganda were to lose in North Africa, they would then spend more in travel to Cape Verde.

Winning in Morocco is now the ultimate goal. "If we win in Morroco, it ends there and that's the plan," Fuba president Nasser Sserunjogi revealed to Sunday Monitor.

The team, according to the team manager Albert Ahabwe, is planning a camp at home with everyone flying in for at least 10 to 15 days.

Extra bodies

In Tunisia, Uganda registered five Covid-19 cases and were kicked out of the bubble. To avoid any eventualities, the team plan to travel with a bigger contingent of players this time round.

"The plan will be to travel with extra players to counter Covid-19 or injury likelihood," Ahabwe said.

Robinson Opong, Deng Geu, Ishmail Wainwright, Eric Rwahwire and Arthur Kaluma are the foreign-based players who made the trip to Tunisia. Ahabwe expects all to return.

Fuba have already spent Shs704m on trips to Egypt and Tunisia in these qualifiers but must now find more money for one to Morocco and possibly another to Cape Verde.

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