FIBA 2019 World cup qualifiers
Uganda 86-102 Nigeria
Uganda Men’s Basketball team, the Silverbacks succumbed to a 86-102 loss at the hands of Nigeria last night in the first game of the 2019 world cup qualifiers in Mali.
It was a strong start by the East African side up until the last two quarters when Nigeria pulled away and eventually won by 16 points after the sound of the final buzzer.
Despite a slow start by the Silverbacks as they let Nigeria have the first six points of the game, Uganda exhibited high levels of energy and desire throught the first quarter eventually winning it 27-18, much to the surprise of everyone watching the game.
At the beginning of the second quarter, last year’s AfroBasket runners ups, Nigeria started asserting their authority and scored 8 unanswered points to make the contest a one point game.
From their to the end of the quarter, it was an even contest as both teams surrendered small leads until Uganda held a healthy seven point lead with 2:33 to play.
Poor offence and conceding several turn overs let the Silverbacks down as they let Nigeria get easy shots on the break and eventually they (Uganda) went in half time trailing by one point with the score board reading 46-47.
Nigeria’s quality started to tell in the third quarter as Micheal Efevberha lead them to winning the quarter 28-20 with the Beirut Club player grabbing 10 points in 6 minutes for D’Tigers.
In the fourth quarter, Uganda fought tooth and nail to keep Nigeria in touching distance with Jimmy Enabu throwing two conservative three and in the process trimming the lead to 10 on both occasions but D’Tigers finally broke away with just over 90 seconds on the clock eventually winning the game 102-86.
“We played well for the first 35 minutes and then they punished our mistakes ruthlessly, said Silverbacks coach Mandy Juruni after the game.
“The mistakes we made where mainly offensive as we tried to take tough shots and then Nigeria broke quickly and had easy shots.
“The other issue is that we failed to play as a team yet it’s one of the things we talked about before the game.
“All I pray is that against Mali, we don’t make the same mistakes a have made tonight.
Jimmy Enabu scored a game high 27 points, 2 ahead of teammate Robinson Odoch who had 25.
Nigeria’s Ike Diogu grabbed seven rebounds, the most on the night and also registered 19 points, one less than Efevberha who had a team high 20.
In the other group B game, Rwanda shocked hosts Mali 74-70.
Rwanda vs Nigeria @6:30pm
Mail vs Uganda @9:00pm