FIBA U16 African Championship: Junior Silverbacks Pick First Win

Monday, July 17
•Uganda 85-80 Morocco

Tuesday, July 18
•Guinea Vs Uganda, 3:30pm

Uganda Boys’ Youth basketball team, the Junior Silverbacks, finally got off the mark at the ongoing 2023 FIBA U16 African Championship in Monastir, Tunisia.

Uganda managed to overcome Morocco thanks to a 85-80 win in Group B on Monday at the Mohamed-Mzali Sports Hall.

Tejan Joel Rugette scored a game high 35 points on 12 of 26 shooting from the field.

Harry Tindyebwa added 20 points while Captain Christian Aine Turyahebwa contributed 9 points and 10 rebounds.

Despite trailing by a point at the end of the first quarter, the Junior Silverbacks dug their way back into the game to lead 41-35 at halftime.

Morocco returned the better side in the third quarter to open a 63-61 cushion but Uganda regained their mojo down the stretch to win by five points.

Omar Karem and Rayane Solhi scored 24 and 23 points respectively for Morocco.

It’s the first win for Moses Okwera’s Junior Silverbacks in three games after the side lost their two opening games against Chad (91-70) and Egypt (116-48).

Uganda who remain at the bottom of the five-team group, return to action on Tuesday in a must win game against Guinea.

A win against Guinea will guarantee Uganda’s progress to the Quarterfinals while a loss will be a huge blow to the side.

The Boys qualified for the Championships after winning the FIBA U16 Zone Five tournament in Kigali, Rwanda last month.

This is the second time the Boys are playing at the championship after their debut in the previous edition in 2021 in Egypt.

On their debut, Uganda finished fifth out of the six teams, with their only win coming against Gabon.

In the Girls category, Uganda’s Junior Gazelles lost 25-78 to giants Egypt on Monday.

This was Uganda’s second loss after that against Tunisia (75-50). The Girls beat Guinea 89-50 as reached Quarterfinals as the third placed team in Group A.

The Junior Gazelles return to action against Angola on Wednesday for their Quarterfinal fixture.

Angola finished as the second team in Group A behind giants Mali.

It’s strong to note that this tournament is serving as a qualifier for the FIBA U17 World Championship 2024 in Turkey.

The winner and the runners-up in Tunisia in both Boys and Girls categories will punch their tickets for next year’s World Cup.



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