Junior Silverbacks and Gazelles set for FIBA Africa U-16 Nations Championships Qualifiers

By Michael Nsubuga

The two sets of boys and girls teams were announced on Monday during a press conference at UOC offices

Silverbacks mutebi 350x210

Expectations are high for both the Junior Silverbacks and Gazelles as they head to Rwanda to compete in the FIBA Africa U-16 Nations Championships Qualifiers in Kigali, June 10-15.
The two sets of boys and girls teams were announced on Monday during a press conference at UOC offices attended by General Manager National Basketball Teams Committee head Mohammed Santur and his assistant Grace Kwizera. The team sets off on June 8.
FUBA's General Secretary Hudson Ssegamwenge, Arnold Katabi (PR and Marketing), Stephen Nyeko (Youth Commissioner) were also present alongside Coaches Ronald Mutebi (Silverbacks) and Rogers Sserunyigo (Gazelles).
Both teams are confident of good performances in the tournament that will have competitors from Burundi, Egypt, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.
The regional championship will also double as qualifiers for the 2019 FIBA Africa U16 Girls Basketball Championship also to be hosted by Rwanda, in August.
The teams will need to finish among the top two in the competition in order to qualify for the 2019 FIBA Africa U-16 Girls Basketball Championship in August in Rwanda.
"Most of the players have been playing for more than four years and all I expect from them is good basketball, taking in consideration what they have been trained to do," Mutebi said.

 Part of the Uganda National Basketball U-16 team that is going to represent the country in the FIBA Africa Nations Championships Qualifiers in Kigali

"For me, all I want from them is to go there and win it. The pressure is good for the players as long as the expectations remain high. We only ask the government to avail us funds to compete in all these competitions as we build for the future," Santur stated.
"We have put together good teams that we are confident will go out there and do a good job. We agreed that we start with the U-16 that will grow to play for the U-18; which is the progression we would like to see before they can play for the senior team," Santur added.
FUBA's Ssegamwenge said it was important to compete in such competitions as they develop the game from the grassroots.
"It is our plan that the majority of this group is kept together as a unit so that we have continuous progress in terms of development,"
The boys have been undergoing training at the Gems Cambridge International School while the girls are camped at the Africa Bible University in Lubowa.
The teams:
Boys: Valentino Labeja (Captain), Musoke Muwanguzi, Owor Luswata, Karugire Mugina Tibuhaburwa, Rwabogo Mumutiine Rubanza, Alexi Twahili, Dralega Anguci, Cyril Francis Akusambirekubo, Justine Evan Odoch, Moustapha Lalani, Micah Owiny Abraham Agoroachai, Joel Andida, Sharma Suubi, Andrew Ssendawula, Roland Muwanguzi Waliggo, Frank Elvuis Tumusiime, Adrian David Nsokwa, Elijah Adukan Obware and Harold Amara.
Girls: Shillah Lamunu (Captain), Esther Kwagala, Mary Najjuma, Aber Linda, Patience Karungi, Gertrude Nyamutooro, Sylivia Nasagorworth, Sylivia Namuddu, Rwabogo Kendagano, Regina Ajuma, Penitah Nabakooza, Patience Nantume, Gift Naluyima Bisoboka, Mary Najjuma, Alinda Mutabazi.