By: Nacho Black Armo
Uganda’s Basketball National team nick named the Silverbacks takes on West Africa and African giants Nigeria in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers 2019.
Coach Mandy Juruni after today’s training session on which he tried to accommodate Brian Ssebirumbi and Stanley Ocitti he had this to say,
“After today’s practice we look ready, having Stanley and Brandon makes the team bigger, they looked sharp and good cause they have played at a high level making themselves ready”.
He went a head and explained the advantage of having the 2 players part of the squad,
“Defensively they can match up with any big man in the tournament.
Offensively Brandon is stronger inside the paint, he has very good moves, good jump shots left and right.
Stanley can stretch the defense with his shooting abilities, his passing abilities,his big screens helping out the guards.
About the opponent
“Nigeria is a tough team, one of the best teams in Africa, we expect a physical game, we’ve seen them they are quite big, athletic so we are expecting a quick and a physical game, physically we have to be ready for the toughness they are going to bring to us.
Overall i think we need to respect them but we also have to be ready to compete cause their size in paint is as big as our size in paint, they might be a little bigger with the guards but that shouldn’t be a big problem matching up with the guards but the physicality that’s what we need and also.
Mentally we have to prepare ourselves to compete, just not give them a lot of respect cause they are one of the big teams. The Silverbacks’ head coach Mandy Juruni said.
The Silverbacks will be seeking their first shot at the world cup and their first qualifying match will be against a team that has been their twice.
Nigeria is one of the dominant forces in African basketball having made 2 appearances at the FIBA Basketball Word Cup and 18 Afrobasket appearances.
Nigeria’s first FIBA World Cup shot came in 1998 in Athens, Greece but their best performances were seen in Japan 2006 where they finished 3rd in group A drawn with Argentina, France, Lebanon, Serbia and Montenegro and Venezuela.
However, they were eliminated by Germany at the round of 16 in a 77-78 final score.