Uganda must beat the neighbours to not only confirm a final appearance but also a place at the 2017 Afrobasket in Congo Brazzaville later this year
It’s turning out to the perfect Fiba Africa Zone V Championships for Silverbacks that has effectively buried the preparation inadequacies.
The men’s national basketball team easily progressed to the semifinals, beating Somalia 92-74 and Burundi 99-54, in Cairo, Egypt.
That latter thumping came on Wednesday night. Unlike in the opener when Stanley Ocitti sunk a game-high 33 points, the ‘role’ played their part.
Jonah Otim led the way with 16 points, going 3 of 5 from downtown. A’darius Pegues added 14 while Jospeh Ikong’s eight came with seven rebounds and five assists.
However, coach Mandy Juruni will want to remind his charges that the journey has only began. The ‘real’ tournament starts with today’s semifinal against Rwanda at the Cairo Stadium, Olympic Centre.
Uganda must beat the neighbours to not only confirm a final appearance but also a place at the 2017 Afrobasket in Congo Brazzaville later this year.
It’s a repeat of the 2015 qualifiers when Uganda beat Rwanda 69-61 to join Egypt from this region as the Afrobasket. On the euphoric day at the Lugogo MTN Arena, Steven Omony scored 25 points and six rebounds and Ivan Lumanyika added 13 points and 14.
Both are in Cairo, as is ex-City Oilers’ centre Kami Kabange who will cushion Rwanda’s push along with Kenneth Gasama. Kami’s duel with his friends should be a thriller.