Silverbacks head to Morocco amidst old Covid-19 fears

Friday June 25 2021
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National Representatives. Silverbacks have business to do against Morocco on July 8. PHOTO | ISMAIL KEZAALA

By EMANZI NDYAMUHAKI

Before Uganda’s Olympic team, Rugby Cranes 7s and Lady Cricket Cranes had their plans stuttered by Covid-19, the national basketball team, Silverbacks, had fallen victims already.

They were the first Ugandan team to travel and not play due to an outbreak of the deadly virus in their camp. That was back in February during the Fiba Afrobasket qualifiers in Monastir, Tunisia.

 Uganda’s games against Morocco and Cape Verde were postponed to next month. The team leaves for Morocco this weekend to face the North Africans on July 8 needing to win to qualify for the Afrobasket for a third successive time.

One win

 If they fail to win there, they must proceed to Cape Verde for a game on July 15. The local body, Fuba, are leaving nothing to chance. “Most of the players have already got their first jab of the vaccine,” Fuba president Nasser Sserunjogi says. “We shall continue with regular testing and isolation like everyone is doing.”

Fuba has recently been in the news for their lack of funds to facilitate the smooth running of four national teams set for various competitions between July and September.

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 A team of 12 players was announced on Wednesday with the federation ready to go on with their plans with or without support from National Council of Sports (NCS).  “We have to go and play,” Sserunjogi assures. “We have not received money yet but we remain hopeful.”

 Coaches George Galanapolous and Mandy Juruni have made some changes to the team that was in Tunisia and have included two new faces.

 Guard Keiran Zziwa of University of Manitoba Bistons and Mohamed Ghedi Abdihakim are the new inclusions.  

“Keiran is a good combo-guard and we needed one in the team. He is a good defender too,” Juruni revealed.

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