Sunday, February 26
•Uganda 47-88 Guinea
Uganda Men’s National Basketball team, the Silverbacks, lost to Guinea 88-47 in their last game of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers in Angola.
Coming into Sunday’s game, the Silverbacks had lost to Angola (82-49) and Ivory Coast (89-44) on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Cheick Sekou did the biggest damage to Uganda, shooting 10-of-14 from the field to garner a game high 25 points.
He added 10 rebounds to finish with a double double while Ibrahim Fofana scored 11 points.
For the Silverbacks, Titus Lual (12) and Ceaser Kizito (10) scored in double figures while James Okello finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds.
Uganda went toe-to-toe with Guinea in the first half but later ran out of steam including a fourth quarter where they managed only two points!
And Guinea benefited from Uganda’s lethargic display to top the game, including out-rebounding the side 51-32.
The Silverbacks end the campaign with just one win in 10 games, and bottom of Group E.
The team’s only win was against Cape Verde, 77-74, on November 27 2021.
Cape Verde beat Ivory Coast 79-64 to book the last and fifth African qualification slot to the World Cup.
Ivory Coast, Egypt, Angola and South Sudan are the other nations to the World Cup in Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, from 25 August to 10 September 2023.
Silverbacks Hard Done By Poor Preps
Back in 2021, FUBA received funds in a sack from NCS to fly to Kigali for the Afrobasket. The team went on to finish sixth!
And in this concluded World Cup campaign, there was confidence from the players and officials that the team can pull out a surprise.
Only for the dreams to be washed away by little Government interest in Sport!
Starting their second round campaign in August last year, the Silverbacks reached Abidjan (Ivory Coast), a day before their opening game due to late release of funds.
The team did not hold a single training session and went on to lose their three games there.
That, all but ended Uganda’s chances, despite an impressive first round where they made it among the top 12 on the Continent.
And going into the last round, FUBA did not het any assurance of getting funds from Government to honour the leg in Angola.
In fact, FUBA wrote to FIBA to confirm the withdrawal of the team from the last leg of these qualifiers due to lack of funds.
Reports indicate that FIBA stepped in in the eleventh hour to fund the Silverbacks trip to Angola.
And the players, who had not trained for a single day, boarded late Thursday night, reached the following day on Friday morning for their opener on the very day!
The team comprised of nine players, all local playing in the National Basketball League, which ended last year!
Coach Mande Juruni did not make the trip, with second assistant coach Andrew Tendo the stand-in.
In the next game against Ivory Coast on Saturday, there was a jersey mix up and consequently three players (Jimmy Enabu, Fayed Baale and Rogers Dauna) did not feature!
And the beating was inevitable.