Uganda’s basketball team, the Silverbacks, have been flagged off to Monastir, Tunisia ahead of the second window of the qualifiers of the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket.
The team that will fly out at 4pm, have been sent off by National Council of Sports and Federation of Uganda Basketball Association ahead of the tourney due February 17-21.
After the first window last year in Alexandria, Uganda sit second in Group E with just a point behind Egypt and above Cape Verde and Morocco.
NCS has funded the trip with Sh334m.
“We are ready to celebrate your win. Be disciplined, you must be together throughout not to contract Covid19,” NCS General Secretary Patrick Bernard Ogwel advised the players.
NCS Chairman Donald Rukare asked the team to fly the country’s flag high because they have a full backing from the Government.
Rukare added: ” You have full support from Government. I congratulate FUBA for persistence and to ensure that the team is put in right shape. We shall be following you, and ensure that you get the needed victory. “
Rukare extended his pledge he made before the first window when he promised sneakers to best performers. He issued out three envelopes to Captain Jimmy Enabu, James Okello and Robinson Opong (not present at flag off).
Enabu commented that this is the “perfect opportunity” for the side to qualify for Afrobasket finals in Kigali, Rwanda later this year.
In Monastir, the Silverbacks will hold a 10-day camp with the foreign based players to enable the team gel before tip off.
“All our foreign-based players have been working out hard because they have been competing back in their respective leagues and we expect them to be ready,” said FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi.
“We need one win of the three games but we are confident that we will win the all games.”
Team Manager Mohammed Santur said that the team is “well prepared and hoping to be successful” after adequate preparations for the home-based players.
The local-based players have had a couple of training sessions at Africa Bible University in Lubowa before the final squad was selected.
Local Based Players Flagged Off – Jimmy Enabu (City Oilers), Tony Drileba (City Oilers), Benjamin Komakech (City Oilers), Fayed Bbale (UCU Canons), James Okello (City Oilers), Joseph Anyuru Ikong (City Oilers), Titus Lual Odeke (UCU Canons), Ceasar Kizito (Sharing Youth)
Foreign Based Players – Ishmail Wainwright, Eric Rwahirwe, Robinson Opong, Deng Geu, Arthur Kaluma