National team the Silverbacks as they lined up at the Afrobasket 2015
By: Nacho Black Armo
Mandy Lutwama Juruni to name provisional squad for Afrobaskest 2017 without professionals. The former Kyambogo Warriors coach and current City Oilers as well as National team Coach is looking at the preparations for the tournament that is set be hosted by both Tunisia and Senegal from the 8th to the 16th of September 2017.
Uganda is placed in Group B with Angola which is the most successful Country in this tournament along with Morocco and Central African Republic ( CAR).
Uganda is the only team in this group without a medal and this makes them the under dogs.
Angola has 11 golds, 4 Silvers and 2 bronzes, Central African Republic has 2 golds and 1 bronze while Morocco has 2 golds, 2 Silvers and 2 bronzes. The tournament that was found in 1962, has 16 participating teams from Africa.
Only Egypt ties with Angola with the total number of medals both on 17. However, Egypt lags behind by 6 gold medals though they have more Silvers and bronze medals.
Captain Steven Omwony in action at the 2015 edition
Mandy Juruni has led The Silverbacks to a 2nd straight qualification for the Afrobaskest having defeated Rwanda 77-64 in a game that saw the Silverbacks’ Captain Stephen Omony put up 15 points and 5 five steals. Earlier on the qualifying road Uganda had destroyed Somalia 94-72 before demolishing Burundi 85-56 and finally Rwanda fell prey.
Juruni will have to undo the Silverbacks’ history in this tournament 2 years ago when they failed to win a single group match in Tunisia, losing 77-55 to hosts, Tunisia, 59-98 to Nigeria who later went on to win the championship defeating Angola 65-74. Uganda also lost their final group match to Central African Republic 56-60.
Uganda’s consolation win came later in the 15th place play off against Zimbabwe who they defeated 72-64, hence leaving the final tournament standings ranked 15th.
Final Rankings at the Afro basket 2015
1. Nigeria, 2. Angola, 3. Tunisia, 4 Senegal, 5. Egypt, 6. Algeria, 7. Mali, 8. Gabon 9. Cameroon, 10. Cape Verde, 11.Mozambique, 12. Cote d’Ivoire, 13. Morocco, 14. Central African Republic (CAF), 15. Uganda, 16. Zimbabwe.
Afrobaskest 2017 Groups
Nigeria, DR Congo, Mali, Ivory Coast.
Angola, CAR, Morocco, Uganda.
Tunisia, Guinea, Rwanda, Cameroon.
Senegal, Mozambique, Egypt, South Africa.