UGANDA : Tunisia vs. Uganda preview | 2015 Afrobasket
Tunisia vs. Uganda, 11:00pm (Ugandan Time) at Palais Des SportsEl Menzah
Debutants Uganda will open the 2015 Afrobasket campaign against hosts and strong contenders for championship Tunisia on Wednesday night at the Palais Des Sports El Menzah in the capital Tunis.
Uganda’s captain, Steven Omony told Kawowo Sports that they are excited to be at AfroBasket and ready for challenge of playing the hosts on the opening night.
It’s exciting… It's challenging as well but it’s exciting that is more important for us as a team. It’s a new task for us and we are up to the task and the challenge. We have nothing to lose in that game and we are going to give it absolutely our all.Going into the game as underdogs, the Silverbacks will need a strong start for early confidence to ease into the game and the tournament.
An early going from Kassim Nagwere, Stanley Ociti and the rest of the group will be important against Tunisia whose coach, Adel Tlatli declared along with Group A opponents Nigeria and Angola as favourites for the Championship.
Omony says the side he skippers deserves some respect and that the underdog tag could work for the team as it takes away any sort of pressure.
I think he ought to give us some respect because he might be in for a shock as well. One thing that’s working to our advantage is that they consider us to be underdogs. We are not experienced at this level but we are going there to give it our best.Uganda’s center, Brandon Sebirumbi had a sore on the knee cap and precautionary sat out in the last tune up game but coach, Mandy Juruni said he would be ready for tournament while shooting guard, John Balwigaire had shaken off the ankle problem.
Tunisia’s Center and 2011 Afrobasket MVP, Salah Mejr who has just signed with Dallas Mavericks will be a handful for Brandon Sebirumbi, Stanley Ociti, Samuel Kalwanyi as well as Henry Malinga and Dhal Marial who the coach wants to be more aggressive.
In the build-up to the AfroBasket, Tunisia recorded three wins in six games, providing the hosts with confidence coming into the tournament as two of three wins came against AfroBasket teams Algeria and Cameroon.
Meanwhile, Uganda did not face a strong opposition in preparation for the tournament having played a couple of games and against league select side and will learn in the job.
Playing against a big team in terms of size like Tunisia, the Silverbacks might have the best option to lighting up the scoreboard in outside shooting and it’s an area that coach, Mandy Juruni was not impressed with in the last tune up game and said they had to improve going forward.
One area we need to improve is ofcourse our shooting. I think our percentage is still low and if you are going to be playing against big teams and you can’t shoot on the outside and we can’t create shots is going affect us a lot.The team has got to shoot better mid-range and from distance and take the slightest of chances for a close finish as it won’t be easy to get to Tunisia basket.
In the game of the most cosmopolitan group of the tournament, heavy weights Nigeria will play the Central African Republic in the first game of the group.
Uganda: Jimmy Enabu, Josh Johnson, John Balwigaire, Kassim Nagwere, Samuel Mukoza, Joseph Ikong, Steven Omny, Henry Malinga, Stanley Ociti, Samuel Kalwanyi, Brandon Sebirumbi and Dhal Marial
Tunisia: Salah Mejr, Rzig Amine, Ben Romdhane Makrem , Abassi Mohamed, Brâa Hamdi, Abada Omar, Ghayaza Mokhtar, H’didane Mohamed, Knouia Nizar, El Mabrouk Mourad, Michael Roll and Sayeh Mehdi
Other Opening Day Fixtures (All EAT):
Egypt vs. Gabon 2:30pm
Nigeria vs. CAR 5:00pm
Mali vs. Cameroon 7:30pm