No distractions as Silverbacks depart for final Afrobasket push

Friday February 05 2021
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Hot Steppers. Silverbacks with their new boots yesterday. PHOTO/ISMAIL KEZAALA

By ELVIS SENONO

The relationship between government and sports federations is one where the latter is often uncertain of financial support ahead of major sporting events. The lead up to the national basketball team Silverbacks’ final qualification window to Afrobasket has however appeared different.

As evidenced yesterday, domestic basketball governing body Fuba and National Council Sport (NCS), the body mandated to oversee sports in the country, read from the same script as they flagged off the Silverbacks.

Not only did NCS offer shs334m for the trip to Tunisia, the usual financial cries from Fuba ahead of major tournaments was non-existent.

“We remain firmly committed to fully support the national team,” NCS Chairman Don Rukare reiterated at the sendoff held at Lugogo.

What is now left for the Silverbacks is to pick at least one win against Egypt, Morocco and Cape Verde in the final qualifier that starts February 18 in Tunisia to guarantee a third straight appearance at the Afrobasket tournament.

“We shall guarantee our qualification to AfroBasket on the 21st and we are ready to celebrate with you,” NCS General Secretary Dr. Bernard Ogwel also communicated the team at the function.

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Silverbacks captain Jimmy Enabu also expressed belief about the team’s qualification prospects particularly after defeating Cape Verde and Morocco in games played in the first window.

“Basing on how we played in the first round, the team is generally in a better state. And I strongly believe we can only become better,” opined Enabu whose team is also sure to benefit from another training camp ahead of the qualifier.

“Going into the first round we did not have enough time to gel with the players especially those who were abroad.

“So at the beginning of the training camp things didn’t look like they were coming around until the final days. So now we have a clearer picture of how everyone plays and what we want to accomplish,” he added.

FIBA AFROBASKET 

SECOND ROUND - AFRICA QUALIFIER:

Dates: February 17-21, 2021

Venue: Monastir, Tunisia

essenono@ug.nationmedia.com

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