Silverbacks still stuck in Angola

Uganda's national basketball team, Silverbacks. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The group of players going back to Europe and the US were not affected and have already returned to their respective clubs

The National men’s basketball team, Silverbacks is still stuck in Angola four days after completing the first window of the Fiba World Cup Qualifiers. Uganda played her last game against Nigeria on Sunday night and the team was scheduled to leave the following day.

That, however, did not happen as the team missed their connecting flight due to a five-hour delay from Benguela to the Angolan capital, Luanda. “Our flight from Benguela to Luanda was delayed so we missed the flight from Luanda to Addis,” Fuba Vice President Arnold Katabi, the leader of the delegation, said when contacted by Daily Monitor.

Having gone through South Africa, the team had to change flights to go through Ethiopia due to the Covid-19 situation in South Africa. “Flights out of here are scarce but we will travel tomorrow (Friday),” he added.

Ethiopian Airlines is expected back in Luanda on Friday and Katabi is confident the team will travel. The team had their Covid-19 tests done today. The Silverbacks are not the only ones affected by the delay. Three other teams; Nigeria, Central African Republic and Guinea are all waiting.

Some Fiba officials were also caught up in this. The group of players going back to Europe and the US were not affected and have already returned to their respective clubs. The qualifiers were played in Benguela, west of Angola and not in the capital Luanda.

Uganda lost her first game 76-66 to Mali before bouncing back to defeat Cape Verde 77-74. The 95-69 loss to Nigeria left Uganda with a 1-2 record and third on the log with four points. There are three more games to play at this stage and they are scheduled for July 2022 in a venue to be announced.

By maintaining third place after the next three games, Uganda will progress to the final round of qualifiers from which five teams make the World Cup.

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