Sunday, November 28
*Uganda 69-95 Nigeria
- Nigeria – 5
- Mali – 5
- Uganda – 4
- Cape Verde – 4
Uganda fell to Nigeria to lose their second game as the first window of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifier ended in Benguela, Angola.
Uganda, who lost to Mali (76-66) in Friday’s opener, came into the Nigeria clash on the back of a 77-74 win over Cape Verde.
Despite going toe-to-toe with the D’Tigers in opening exchanges, the Number one ranked team in Africa started to pull away as the game progressed and Uganda never recovered.
Ikechukwu Diogu proved handful for the Silverbacks and his experience troubled Uganda from onset – The veteran has gathered experience after stints with NBA sides Golden State Warriors, Indian Pacers, Portland Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs.
Diogu shot 6-for-7 from outside the perimeter for his game high 27 point-tally and filled the stat sheet with 10 rebounds and two assists.
Keith Omoerah and Jordan Omotayo added 11 points as Nigeria handed revenge to Uganda having lost to the side in 2021 Afrobasket in Kigali.
Uganda missed 34 of their 40 three-point shots and the side struggled to find easy baskets in a game they utterly looked the second best.
Brandon Davies had a team high 22 points while Jimmy Enabu and Eric Rwahwire added 12 and 10 points respectively in a losing effort.
The game gave Uganda a big reminder of how far they still have to move to close down the gap with the African elites.
But many will point to inadequate preparations that have haunted the team in Benguela.
Uganda will seek to make amends in the second in July next year at a yet to be confirmed venue.
After the second window, the top three teams in all the four groups will be pooled in two groups of six teams in search for the five best who will represent Africa at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
We didn’t get the result we wanted – Silverbacks captain Jimmy Enabu
The FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in Benguela, Mali
*Cape Verde 79-71 Nigeria
*Guinea 76-71 Central Africa Republic
*Ivory Coast 57-56 Angola
*Mali 76-66 Uganda
*Central African Republic 64-92 Ivory Coast
*Nigeria 72-70 Mali
*Angola 75-59 Guinea
*Uganda 77-74 Cape Verde
*Ivory Coast 80-69 Guinea
*Cape Verde 58-64 Mali
*Central African Republic 48-78 Angola
*Uganda 69-95 Nigeria