FIBA world cup qualifiers 2019
The Uganda Men’s basketball team, The Silverbacks are all set for the upcoming world cup qualifiers this weekend, according to coach Mandy Juruni.
The team flew out of the country on Sunday morning for Bamako, Mali and have had several training session there.
The team coach Mandy Juruni who is also the head coach of five time league defending champions City Oilers believes that they are all set for the games.
“The minicamp has helped us greatly, said Juruni in an interview.
“The team is looking much better both physically and mentally.
“We have had sessions where we have concentrated on our transition and shooting and now we are putting focus on defence and how best we can defend as a team.
“The team defence is our main point of concentration as we prepare for the first game against Nigeria.
“We want to polish the areas that need to be improved as soon as we can and that(team defence) is one of them.
“We have to know which shape to fall into when we lose the ball in different situations.
When asked about player Samuel Mukooza who he didn’t get a chance to see in Uganda before the team left, Juruni had this to say.
“Samuel is not yet 100% but he is looking much better with each passing day.
“When you see him train, you see the intelligent player in him, he is a very good decision maker and his shooting is way up there amongst the best we have in the team.
“I think he will be at the same level with the others come match day one against Nigeria.
Mukooza last featured for the Silverbacks at the 2015 Afro Basket in Tunisia where he was the best passer in team Uganda.
He last played professionally for Swedish side Trelleborg Basket in 2015.
The two players Brandon Ssebirumbi and Stanley Ocitti who were expected to join the Silverbacks in Mali are all already in camp as they arrived on Wednesday.
Uganda is in group B along with Nigeria, Mali and Rwanda.
They face Nigeria tomorrow(Friday), then Mali on Saturday before they take on Rwanda on Sunday.
The second and final phase will take place in June and Uganda will take on all the three sides again.
The players for team Uganda:
- Jimmy Abraham Enabu
- Joshua Johnson
- Robinson Odoch Opong
- Syrus Kiviiri
- Mark Opio
- Samuel Mukooza
- Stephen Omony
- Joseph Ikong
- James Okello
- Stanley Mugerwa
- Stanley Ocitti
- Brandon Sebirumbi