Coach expects more from Silverbacks

Thursday January 28 2021

Chart Topper: Wainright led Uganda’s charge in Egypt with a tourney-best average of 21.3 points per game. PHOTO/COURTESY.

By Elvis Senono

The second and final qualification window of the Fiba AfroBasket qualifier in Monastir, Tunisia is slated for February 17-21 where Uganda will again face off with Egypt, Morocco or Cape Verde.

In preparation for the tournament, the national basketball team Silverbacks appear to be giving as much attention to physical training as they are to the psychological part of it.
That at least is the message coming out of Africa Bible University in Lubowa where the team is conducting training four days a week.

“We are confident in our team but there’s a lot of work to be done between now and the games. We’re facing very great opponents and each game will be very difficult. So we need to be ready for that.

“We expect to be better at both ends of the floor specifically defence in an effort to continue to improve going forward,” stated Texas-based head coach George Galanopoulos who has maintained close contact with the team since the first leg in November.

It left the Silverbacks with a 2-1 record just behind Egypt but ahead of Cape Verde and Morocco going into the final qualifier from which the three highest placed teams will qualify for AfroBasket in Rwanda later this year.

The performance in Egypt back in November also saw the Silverbacks produce three players in the top 10 highest points scorers.
Forward Ishmail Wainright led with a tournament best average of 21.3 points per game, with Opong third  (19.0 points per game) and Enabu (17.7 points per game) completing the top 10.


Galanopoulos’ assistant Mandy Juruni who is currently in charge of the team in the former’s absence is however expecting everyone on the roster to come to the party for the final bend.

“We are happy with the performances of those three. But for us to succeed, we will need more than that. We need everyone in the team to contribute positively. We believe the team that we have can do that. So we want our best players to continue playing well. We want the other seven or eight players to come on board as well. The more we contribute individually, the better it is for the team,” Juruni said in an interview with South African website

The Silverbacks are expected to hold another training camp outside the country from where they will be joined by the foreign-based legion.

They are seeking a third straight appearance at the continental showpiece competition after finishing 13th and 15th in 2017 and 2015 respectively.