Friday September 8 2017

Angola to test Silverbacks optimism as Afrobasket tips-off



Stephen Omony

Stephen Omony 

By ELVIS SENONO

KAMPALA. Talk in the national basketball team’s camp has been about how they expect to fare better than 15th, their placing at the 2015 edition of the 16 team tournament being co-hosted by Senegal and Tunisia.
That belief will be given the sternest of tests when the Silverbacks play the tournament’s most successful side, Angola in the late evening game in Dakar this evening.
Placed in Pool B alongside Morocco and Central African Republic (CAF), the 11-time champions will undoubtedly pose the biggest threat.
Nevertheless, Mandy Juruni who was relegated to the assistant coaching role following the acquisition of the more experienced Texas Legends assistant coach George Galanopuolos states the team will maintain a positive attitude.
“We are going to play with a mindset to win,” Juruni asserted despite the difference in quality between the two teams.
The Silverbacks however appear more balanced going into this year’s tournament with A’darius Pegues expected to greatly improve the front court department in addition to Samuel Kalwanyi.
The latter who was expected to arrive in Dakar last evening is sure to have benefited from two years at Wayland Baptist University in the US. The former replaces Brandon Ssebirumbi who was not called up this time for the Silverbacks who must win two games to reach their quarterfinal target.
The 6ft 3in guard Robinson Opong Odoch is sure to be one of the first choice guards alongside Jimmy Enabu and Ben Komakech.
This is in addition to Silverbacks best performers in 2015 Stanley Ocitti and captain Stephen Omony (pictured) who have all been part of the 10-day training camp in Egypt.

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