Silverbacks confident despite missing faces

Another mission: Silverbacks lit up Kigali with a quarterfinal finish at the Afrobasket Finals earlier this year. PHOTO/FIBA

What you need to know:

  • Uganda is in pool A alongside Mali, Nigeria and Cape Verde and will play the three sides between November 26 and 28.

The Silverbacks start training today ahead of the first round of the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers that is slated for later this month.

As training starts at Africa Bible University in Lubowa, there are faces that have been an integral part of the team but will not feature in the first round in Benguela, Angola.

Phoenix Suns’ forward Ishmail Wainwright and the college trio of Arthur Kaluma, Adam Seiko and Kieran Zziwa are all out.

This, however, will not worry the Silverbacks and assistant coach Mandy Juruni believes the side has able replacements to carry Uganda’s flag.

“The national team has a pool of about 30 players,” Juruni told Daily Monitor ahead of the team’s first session.
“There are some players we won’t be able to have but there are also some that are coming back into the team,” he added.

“We can’t focus on the players who are not available. We have to look at those we have and I’m confident they will deliver,” In Wainwright’s absence, all eyes will be on Barcelona forward Brandon Davies who first and last featured for the Silverbacks in 2018.

Naturalized players
The two being naturalized players can not play for Uganda at the same time but both improve the squad with their ability to shoot the ball and add size to the team.

Germany based Emmanuel Timothy Womala is the new face on the team and Juruni says the 6’5 wing is an asset the Silverbacks expect a lot of. 

Wainwright, Kaluma and Seiko were all in the Silverbacks starting lineup at the Afrobasket in Kigali, Rwanda.
Players like Eric Rwahwire, Tonny Drileba and Robinson Odoch Opong, who came off the bench in Kigali, will now be expected to get big minutes in Angola.

Ivan Muhwezi, Fayed Baale and Peter Obleng will also be auditioning to squeeze into the final 12 this time round.
Also absent from the team is head coach George Galanopoulos who has a tight schedule with the Texas Legends in the G-League.

Uganda is in pool A alongside Mali, Nigeria and Cape Verde and will play the three sides between November 26 and 28.

The top three sides after the first round will progress to the second phase of qualifiers to be held in July 2022. 


Local based players
Ivan Muhwezi, Peter Obleng, Fayed Baale, Jimmy Enabu, Tonny Drileba, Titus Odeke, James Okello, Ben Komakech
Foreign based 
Deng Geu, Mohamed Ghedi Abdihakim, Eric Rwahire, Robinson Odoch Opong, Emmanuel Timothy Womala, Brandon Davies


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