Juruni Predicts ‘Tougher’ Window, Remains Buoyant

Thursday, February 18
*Uganda Vs Egypt, 10pm

Saturday, February 20
*Morocco Vs Uganda, 4pm

Sunday, February 21
*Cape Verde Vs Uganda, 4pm

Silverbacks coach Mande Juruni has predicted a ‘tougher’ campaign in the second window for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket Qualifiers.

The team arrived in Tunisia on Friday evening and are now at the Hotel Golf Residence.

Uganda sit second in Group E with five points and will need at least one win of the three games to qualify for the Afrobasket later this year in Kigali, Rwanda.

“All the teams have beefed up their squads,” Juruni said.

“I expect the games to be even tougher, but again we believe in our abilities and the preparations that we have had and we are hoping to do better especially in areas we think we needed improvement.

“Our target is to win three games, yes we need one win to qualify but we want to do better than last time. We generally want to play better.”

In the first window held in Alexandria, Egypt last year in November, Uganda won
two of the three games at the Al Ittihad Stadium.

They lost 77-96 to Egypt before beating Morocco (94-90) and Cape Verde (101-98).

Against Egypt, Uganda moved toe-to-toe with the hosts before squandering their open shots and a couple of turnovers, to fall in the opener.

Juruni, on the Egypt loss, explained: “Egypt was our first competitive game in over eight months of not playing basketball, but those three games we played and the training we have had, plus more preparations ahead, have put us in a better situation going into the second window.”

A squad of 13 players including two local based debutants Caesar Kizito and Fayed Baale will seek to fly the Uganda flag high.

“All the players have earned it, they have been working so well, they are defensive minded. We wanted to improve that department (defence) and the players we have included here and out of Uganda are going to improve us for the better,” Juruni added.

“I am very confident about the players we have and the more preparations we are going to have in camp. We have to concentrate on ourselves and when we do that, we can compete with anyone in the group.”

In Tunisia, the team has already been joined by head coach George Galanapolous and Eric Rwahire.



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