Uganda Silverbacks eyes fourth consecutive AfroBasket berth


Uganda’s Silverbacks, led by newly appointed head coach Mandy Juruni, are gearing up for a fierce battle as they aim to secure their fourth consecutive AfroBasket appearance. With just four days of preparation under Juruni’s guidance, the team is set to embark on their journey in the 2025 AfroBasket Qualifiers, scheduled to commence on 23 February in Monastir, Tunisia.

Juruni, previously an assistant coach for the Silverbacks, has wasted no time in assembling a formidable squad for the upcoming qualifiers. Headlining the team are notable names such as NBA star Ishmael Wainwright and Adam Seiko, providing a blend of experience and talent to the Ugandan roster.

The East African nation, coming off a sixth-place finish in the 2021 AfroBasket championship, finds itself placed in Group B alongside tough competitors Cape Verde and Nigeria, with either Morocco or Libya completing the group lineup. Aware of the challenges ahead, Juruni emphasized the significance of every game and every basket, particularly in the opening window of qualifiers.

In crafting his squad, Juruni has opted for a balanced mix of foreign-based players and local talents, with individuals like Robinson Opong and Brandon Ssebirumbi bringing their experience from guiding Juruni’s City Oilers to success in the Basketball Africa League (BAL). The inclusion of both seasoned veterans and promising newcomers underscores Juruni’s strategy of ensuring continuity while injecting fresh energy into the team.

As the Silverbacks renew their rivalry with Cape Verde on the opening day, they will be aiming to secure a crucial victory after coming up short in their last three encounters. The following day presents another stern test as they face Nigeria, a team they’ve had mixed fortunes against in recent competitions.

Juruni remains pragmatic about the challenges ahead, acknowledging the physicality and quick pace of African basketball while emphasizing the importance of defensive solidity and offensive creativity. Despite missing key players such as Arthur Kaluma and Jimmy Enabu, Juruni exudes confidence in his squad’s ability to rise to the occasion and compete at the highest level.

With a talented roster at his disposal and a meticulous approach to preparation, Juruni and the Silverbacks are poised to make their mark in the AfroBasket Qualifiers, aiming to secure not only victories but also a coveted fourth consecutive appearance on the continental stage. As the basketball world turns its attention to Monastir, Uganda’s faithful fans eagerly anticipate the thrilling journey that lies ahead for their beloved Silverbacks.

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