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Silverbacks in Tunisia to Start Quest for 2025 Afrobasket Games Qualification

A group of nine players from the National Basketball Team-Silverbacks has already arrived in Tunisia to kick off preparations for the first window of the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers. The first window of the qualifiers begins today (Monday), spanning from February 19th to February 27th, with subsequent windows scheduled for November 18th to 26th, 2024, and February 17th to 25th, 2025.  

Uganda’s Silverbacks find themselves in Group B, alongside familiar opponents Cape Verde and Nigeria, with the fourth team in the group emerging from the zonal qualifiers of Zone 1 and Zone 2. The Silverbacks' inaugural game is slated for February 23rd, 2024, against Cape Verde, followed by a match against Nigeria on February 24th, 2024. Following the qualifiers, sixteen teams will secure spots in Africa's premier basketball event. 

Hudson Ssegamwenge, the General Secretary of the Federation of Uganda’s Basketball Association (FUBA), informed URN that a delegation of nine players left the country on Sunday morning and has since arrived in Tunisia to commence training ahead of their first match. The qualification process involves twenty national teams divided into five groups, with each group comprising four teams. These teams will engage in a series of matches, facing their group opponents twice during the tournament, spread across three windows leading up to 2025. 

Headlining the Silverbacks squad are NBA star Ishmael Wainwright and Adam Seiko, alongside other foreign-based players including Robinson Opong Odoch, Womala Emmanuel, and Brandon Ssebirumbi. The squad also includes players from local teams such as the City Oilers quintet and KIU Titian's duo, among others. However, the team will be without head coach George Galanopolous for this window, with Coach Mande Juruni assuming charge. 

Ssegamwenge mentioned that Coach Mande did not accompany the initial delegation but is expected to join later today, along with additional players. While the Silverbacks showcased an impressive performance in the last Afrobasket campaign, reaching their first-ever quarter-final at the continental championship, their journey was marred by financial challenges that threatened their participation in games.