Uganda senior basketball team will open their campaign against hosts Egypt on November 27
Silverbacks captain Jimmy Enabu remains optimistic that Uganda can make the best of their abilities to qualify for the Afrobasket in the first of the two-window qualifiers starting in Egypt, November 27-29.
Uganda senior basketball team will open their campaign against hosts Egypt on November 27 before entertaining Morocco the following day and ahead of their contest with CapeVerde on November 29 in Alexandria.
Speaking to the media after the team was flagged off to the qualifiers, by NCS Chairman Donald Rukare, on Friday; Enabu said the players will bank on their experience to ensure qualification.
"We have prepared well for over a month and everyone on the team is upbeat. The good thing is most of us have been there before, so we are not scared because we and our opponents all start from scratch," Enabu said.
Because of the rampaging coronavirus pandemic, local basketball has not had any competition this year but the national team players have been working out four times a week for the past month.
Seven locally-based players who have been undergoing intense training will be joined by their five foreign-based counterparts for a training camp before the tournament. These will be joined by US-based coaches George Galanopolous, Mike Schmitz who will work with the local coaches Mande Juruni and Andrew Tendo.
The travelling team includes Jimmy Enabu (captain), Tonny Drileba, Ben Komakech, James Okello, Joseph Ikong, Titus Odeke and Stanley Mugerwa. They will be joined by the foreign legion of Robinson Opong, Deng Gau, Ishmail Wainright, Eric Rwahire, and Emmanuel Mugenga.
FUBA president who leads the delegation said the team will undergo a ten-day training camp in Alexandria before the event. Uganda needs to win at least a game in each of the qualifying windows to make it for the Afrobasket, where the top three teams in each group qualify.
NCS General Secretary Patrick Ogwel said despite budgetary cuts due to covid-19, funding sports activities will continue with priority on continental and world championships as well as national teams.
Donald Rukare urged the players to exhibit confidence and remain upbeat as they represent the country because it was an honour to represent the country, but remain cautious of COVID-19.
He also advised them to keep their discipline, stay away from injuries and anti-doping, and ensure they reach their target.