Silverbacks coach George Galanopoulos has held himself accountable, saying he was to blame for Uganda’s loss to Senegal.
The Silverbacks were obliterated 93-55 by a better Senegal side on Thursday during their opening game at the Afrobasket in Kigali Arena.
Shouldering the blame, Galanopoulos, in a press conference, said that he did not prepare his boys better the challenge.
“They were not well prepared, I am not saying this to take blame on me but its 100% blame on me. As far as helping these guys succeed, I do not think I helped them to make adjustments at the right time during the game,” the tactician said.
Shooting guard Robinsin Opong came to Galanopoulos defense, saying that they did not also step up as players.
Opong stated: “As players, you got to step on court and be ready, be able to play on the high level; tonight, we made some mistakes that we have to correct in a short period of time.”
“We have to take care of the ball and defensively we need to be more solid. We have to position better so that we can take rebounds. Definitely, its not the coach’s responsibility and it is more so our job to step up on the court and make stuff happen.”
It should be noted that Galanopolous did not have a full camp in any of the training session before Senegal game!
Uganda arrived in Kigali six days before the tip of Afrobasket as the Basketball Federation (FUBA) struggled to get finances to fund the Afrobasket campaign.
Against Senegal, the Silverbacks were the second best on the evening as the five-time champions took control before the final buzzer took Uganda out of their misery.
Uganda failed to match with Senegal’s towering size and could not get anything going at both ends of the floor.
The team turned the ball 24 times, outrebounded and conceded 48 points in the paint.
Despite a promising ending of the first half, Uganda were pegged back and limited to just nine points against 28 in the third quarter.
Star player Ishmail Wainright shot 3-of-11 from the field in a game he missed all his four attempts from beyond the arc.
“Wainright has been playing a lot, he is coming off a really long season. He had summer league with Toronto Raptors, but surely nobody looked in shape in the whole team. I do not think anybody played tonight,” Galanopoulos added.
Altogether, Uganda has lost seven of their eight games at Afrobasket since their debut in 2015.
Galanopoulos added: “There is a lot to learn from the loss, its very humbling, we have been through this before as a team. Its extremely humbling. The good team is that this team have learnt a lot from these defeats. This group is too cohesive, energetic and positive. We will learn from this and it will end up a good experience.”
Opong added that they will be hitting back to the gym ahead of their second game against another physical side Cameroon on Friday before South Sudan on Sunday.