The 2022 FIBA Zone Five U18 Afrobasket Preliminaries for both Boys and Girls gets underway on Monday June 13 to Saturday June 18 in Kampala.
The Youth Tournament will be hosted at the MTN Indoor Arena in Lugogo.
The teams will be fighting for the available slots to the FIBA U18 African Championships.
The finals will be played at the Mahamasina Sports Palace in Antananarivo in Madagascar from July 23 to August 7.
FUBA president Nasser Sserunjogi earlier said that it’s always good for Uganda to host tournaments of this nature and it gives the country “a lot of mileage.”
He added that hosting the tournament in Uganda gives Uganda home court advantage and also an inspiration for the young ones to follow the games and want to play at the same level.
Three teams – Hosts Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania – are taking part in these Qualifiers. Each of the three countries have two teams – Boys and Girls.
Kenya had earlier confirmed participation before pulling out at a last hour.
Other Zone V nations Burundi, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan are not coming for the tournament.
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The teams are facing off twice in a round robin; meaning – Uganda Boys team (Junior Silverback) will play four games that against Rwanda and Tanzania twice.
The top team on a three-team log will qualify to Madagascar.
Two games (One Boys match and One Girls Match) will be played per day.
Monday, June 13
Girls: Rwanda Vs Tanzania – 4pm
Boys: Uganda Vs Rwanda – 7pm
Tuesday, June 14
Girls: Rwanda Vs Uganda – 4pm
Boys: Uganda Vs Tanzania – 7pm
Wednesday, June 15
Girls: Uganda Vs Tanzana – 4pm
Boys: Rwanda Vs Tanzania – 7pm
Thursday, June 16
Girls: Tanzania Vs Rwanda – 4pm
Boys: Rwanda Vs Uganda – 7pm
Friday, June 17
Girls: Uganda Vs Rwanda – 4pm
Boys: Tanzania Vs Uganda – 7pm
Saturday, June 18
Girls: Tanzania Vs Uganda – 4pm
Boys: Tanzania Vs Rwanda – 7pm
How To Watch
From the shared fixture, a Ugandan team will be in action each day! Tuesday and Friday, both the Junior Gazelles and Junior Silverbacks will be playing.
FUBA has priced the games at Sh5000 on entrance per day, while the media will use the Accreditation tags earlier issued out for the National Basketball League.
The games will be broadcast live on NBS Sport and streamed live on FUBA social media pages.
Updates will be available on The-SportsNation social media pages as drama unfolds.
Junior Silverbacks Seek To Get Off The Mark
Uganda’s Boys team, the Junior Silverbacks, will be in action on Day One against Rwanda in what promises to be a pulsating affair.
Matches between both nations at all age levels have been hotly contested and Rwanda have made (and still making) strong strides in the sport of basketball.
“Of course we are very excited about the opportunity to play at home and this is also an appeal to the fans to come in large numbers and support,” said Junior Silverbacks coach Brian Wathum.
“We have been preparing for this moment ever since the turn of this year and we are ready to compete against a strong Rwanda team. We are sure we’ll do our best to get the desired result.”
“This tournament format ensures we play each other twice. Kenya pulling out is sad for East African youth basketball but we must move past that because the ultimate goal is to reach Madagascar. So we turn out attention to the teams that are here.”
Three players on the Junior Silverbacks team – Ethan Bulenzi, Yuki Rukikaire and Joel Muwonge – were part of the squad that featured at U18 FIBA Afrobasket tournament in Cairo, Egypt last year.
Muwonge averaged 15.3 points as Junior Silverbacks finished sixth out of the seven teams in Cairo.
Junior Silverbacks – James Osinde, Marvin Okurut, Josh, Bukenya Douglas Muwanguzi, Ola Samuel, Olara Solomon, Ethan Bulenzi, Omara Emmanuel Junior, Wazir Ali Omar, Muwonge Joel, Yuhi Rukikaire, Bahati David, Muwanguzi Musoke, Jude Onyang, Robert Junior Mayambala
Can Rwanda Stun Uganda?
The composition of the Rwanda boys was picked from various Secondary Schools.
The team will be captained by Dick Sano Rutatika and coached by Yves Murenzi.
“We are going to play like a team, not as individuals. Our aim is to make the country proud, we are hungry for silverware and ready to improve in every game. I believe we have the ability to win the tournament,” Rutatika is quoted in Times Sport.
“We have spent a lot of time in preparation and we want to start the first game with a win and our target is to qualify for the U-18 Afrobasket finals.”