KAMPALA: Uganda’s senior men’s basketball team is counting on early preparations ahead of the second window of the 2022 FIBA World Cup qualifiers slated for July 2022 in Kigali, Rwanda. The local basketball governing body, FUBA, has organised a residential camp to prepare the team for the action.
During their previous international engagements, both at Afrobasket games and the first window of the World Cup qualifiers, the Silverbacks had setbacks in their preparations because of funding issues.
But, ahead of the second window of the world cup qualifiers, the team is already in Alexandria, Egypt, where they are going to have three build-up games in preparation for a do-or-die second round at Kigali Arena.
Speaking to URN, Arnold Katabi, the head of communications and publicity at FUBA, said a team of local-based players are already in Alexandria with the head coach, adding that they will switch to Kigali on June 28th, 2022.
“The local-based players left for Egypt on the 18th (Jimmy Enabu, Ivan Muhwezi, James Okello, Tonny Drileba) and they have been joined by Coach George and Andrew Tendo,” Katabi said. He added that, “Deng Geu, Emmanuel Womala, and Kieran Zziwa are the foreign players in camp and will be joined by Emmanuel Mugenga, Jonathan Komagum, Ishmail Wainwright, Arthur Kaluma, and Adam Seiko.” ”
Wainright, who plays for the Phoenix Suns in the US, will be a big morale booster for the Silverbacks when he makes a return to the team after missing out on the first window because of his club’s busy schedule. During the Afrobasket games in Kigali last year, Wainright was pivotal in the Silverbacks’ good performance when he averaged 12.6 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.
At his club, the player has already appeared in 45 regular-season games and seven playoff games. Although some foreign-based players are yet to join the camp, team captain, Jimmy Enabu, says the team is working hard to have a good performance regardless of the number of players that are in the camp.
Team head coach, George Galanopoulos, who is already in the camp, said the team is excited to have early preparations as they wait for the players that have yet to join the camp.
Uganda is currently third in Group A after securing only one victory in the first window of the qualifiers. Uganda only managed to win against Cape Verde 77-74 and lost to Mali 76-66 and Nigeria 69-95. The Silverbacks will have to raise their spirits if they are to progress to the second round of the qualifiers.