Rwanda’s Group B opponent at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers, Uganda are eyeing a good show when they take participate in the global qualifiers scheduled to start next month.
Uganda’s Silverbacks is drawn in Group B along with Rwanda, Nigeia and hosts Mali for the qualifiers which will run from February 23 to 25 in the Malian capital of Bamako.
Ambrose Tashobya, President of the Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA), told Xinhua this month that after some good exposure of the players last year both at national and club level, they are going to be a team to reckon with when the qualifiers take place in Mali.
“This is a very tough group because Nigeria have won the African crown before and Mali together with Rwanda are also strong sides. But we shall start early to prepare and also make sure all our foreign based players join the team in time,” added Tashobya.
Mande Juruni, Uganda’s assistant coach, said, “We played against Angola, one of Africa’s best teams last year and gave a good account. Now we want to go and qualify,”
Ugandan basketball has been on the rise since the country’s debut at Afrobasket in 2015 and the Silverbacks nearly shocked African powerhouse Angola at last year’s event in Dakar.
Five-time Ugandan champions and two-time Zone V winners City Oilers have grown along and came fifth at the 2017 FIBA Africa Champions Cup in only their second appearance.
Uganda begin their journey for a place at China 2019 against Nigeria on February 23, before taking on Group B hosts Mali the next day and rounding out their first leg play against rivals Rwanda on February 25.
The top two teams from groups E and F and the best third-ranked team will secure their tickets for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019. The first-ever 32-team edition of FIBA’s flagship competition will take place from August 31-September 15, 2019, in China.