Uganda finish second in first phase of World cup qualifiers

Stanley Ociti struggled in the first two games but turned up against Rwanda yesterday.

The Uganda Men’s basketball team finished second in group B of the FIBA World cup 2019 qualifiers phase one played over the weekend in Bamako, Mali.

The Silverbacks managed a 1-2 record after the three games that where played over a period of three days.

After losing the opening two games to Nigeria and Mali, Uganda defeated Rwanda 79-63 in the last game on Sunday to ensure that they go into phase two of qualification in Group B only two points behind leaders Nigeria.

“We knew it was the only chance we had to get our campaign back on track,” said Silverbacks coach Mandy Juruni, after the win over Rwanda yesterday.

“We had to beat Rwanda surely after we had gotten so close to beating Mali the day before. It was good to see that the boys where very focused despite their short comings in the Mali game as they followed the game plan brilliantly and got us the desired result,” he added.

“It is still tight for us as both Mali and Rwanda have got the same record like us after the first three games so the second phase of the games will be very crucial for all three teams,” Juruni said, adding:

“All in all, I am happy with what I have seen as we played well in the games we lost and then came back with the big performance against Rwanda but I still know we got a lot of work to do and hopefully we improve the team and prepare better.”

Jimmy Enabu was undoubtedly the star performer of the team in Mali.

Uganda is second in the group by virtue of points difference as they hold a superior record over both Mali and Rwanda despite all three having the same number of points(4), having won only one game each.

Nigeria still leads with six points after winning all their three games so far.

The second phase of qualification takes place on the weekend of June 29  to July 1, as the four teams play against each other again.

Uganda will play Nigeria on June 29, then face off with Mali the following day before finishing off against Rwanda on July 1.

After the second phase of the first round, the top three teams from each of the four groups will be placed in a group with three other teams from the other groups. All results from the first qualification round, except for results against teams that don’t advance, are carried over to the second round.

The second round games will be played in September 2018, November 2018 and February 2019. The top two teams in each group along with the better placed third team will qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

Robinson Odoch (right) led the team in terms of points scored in Mali.



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