Uganda to renew rivalry with Rwanda at AfroBasket qualifiers

  • AfroBasket Qualifiers | Friday, March 17
  • Uganda vs. Rwanda – 8:00p.m, EAT
  • Egypt vs. Burundi – 10:15p.m, EAT
Stone Photography
Stephen Omony will be key for Silverbacks against Rwanda

Uganda men’s national basketball team, the Silverbacks, will face Rwanda  in the semifinal of the FIBA Africa Zone V AfroBasket qualifiers on Friday.

The match-up follows the conclusion of group games on Wednesday night that saw Uganda sweep through the group that had Burundi and Somalia.

The Silverbacks ran over Somalia 94-72 in the first game with power forward Stanley Ocitti pouring in 33 points complemented by Darius Pegues’ 20 points and Stephen Omony’s 17 points.

On Wednesday, playing at his debut tournament for the national team, Jonah Otim stepped off the bench to score team high 16 points as Silverbacks cruised to a 99-54 victory over Burundi to set up another showdown with Rwanda in a do-or-die.

Rwanda on the other hand finished second in Group B behind hosts Egypt who also swept through the group.

They opened the tournament with a 76-60 win over Kenya, then lost to Egypt 83-71 with swingman Olivier Shyaka turning in a 22 points performance and beat South Sudan 90-80 led by Kenneth Gasana’s 33 points.

The last meeting between the two countries was during the 2014 qualifiers tournament at Lugogo Indoor Stadium and Uganda won the game 69-61.

Silverbacks skipper Omony turned up the heat and netted game high 25 points with Ivan Lumanyika contributing 13 points. Only Jimmy Enabu and Ben Komakech are the other Silverbacks in Egypt who played that game.

However, the core of Rwanda’s team in Egypt was part of that game. Kami Kabangu, Olivier Shyaka, Kenneth Gasana, Bradley Cameron and captain Aristide Mugabe were part of the 2014 team that lost to Uganda.

The winner of the match up on Friday will qualify for AfroBasket scheduled for August 17–31, 2017 in Congo Brazzaville.

Meanwhile Egypt will play Burundi in the other semifinal, whose winner will also make it to the continental showpiece.