Silverbacks start Afrobasket second window with Egypt test

The Silverbacks need a single win to make the Afrobasket for the third successive time.
The search for that victory starts with a clash against giants Egypt on Thursday and Morocco and Cape Verde follow Saturday and Sunday.
Having started preparations early, the team sounds concerned about their defensive display at the first window and have emphasized improving that in the second round.
Assistant captain Joseph Ikong, who missed the first window with a hip injury, believes the team has prepared well and will be ready to compete and seal qualification.
Skipper Jimmy Enabu expects a tougher challenge in this window but also believes qualification is Uganda's to ruin.
“We anticipate that the games will be harder," Enabu revealed ahead of the tournament.
The Silverbacks started training before Christmas and have been in camp in Tunisia since early February. Newcomer Arthur Kaluma and Deng Geu were the last to join the team.
Guard Robinson Opong says the team is capable of winning all three games and will be trying to do exactly that.
"We are not looking at one win. We know that if we adjust defensively we can win all the three games." the Canada-based revealed.
With a single win, Uganda will go to the finals for the third successive time and look to improve on past trips. The Silverbacks lost all three group games at the 2015 showpiece in Tunisia.
They lost 77-55 to Tunisia, 98-59 to Nigeria, and 60-56 to the Central African Republic in the group stage.
They further fell to Senegal 79–48 before beating Zimbabwe 72-64 to finish 15th out of 16 teams.
In 2017, Uganda still lost all group games but reduced the deficits. The highlight of the tournament held in Senegal was the 94-89 overtime loss to 11-time champions Angola in the opener.
Defeats to the Central African Republic (57-54) and Morocco (79-70) ended Uganda's hopes of progressing beyond the group stages.
The team finished 13th to improve their record on the continent. Improving that performance is a discussion the Silverbacks will have only after sealing qualification for Kigali.
Uganda's fixtures
Thursday, February 18
Uganda vs. Egypt
Saturday, February 20
Uganda vs. Morocco
Sunday, February 21
Uganda vs. Cape Verde 

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The writer is a Freelance Sports Reporter based in Kampala, Uganda. Follow him on Twitter (@Emanzi20), Facebook (Ndyamuhaki J. Emanzi) and Instagram (@emanzi20).

Published: 02/19/2021