AVILA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers) - Robinson Odoch Opong and Uganda headed to Mali's capital city of Bamako last month both upbeat and hopeful as they tipped off the country's FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers.
Unfortunately, the Silverbacks came away disappointed from the first leg of Group B action with one win and two losses.
"Our target was to take at least two games but that did not happen as we fell to Nigeria (102-86) and Mali (79-76). The game against Rwanda was just a must-win because we had no choice and needed to remain in contention by the next round," said Opong, who was the highest scorer in Bamako, finishing with 53 points.
Therefore Opong knows how important it is to get the most out of the next games in June-July.
"Rwanda were confident after their shock win over Mali in their opener and came out fighting on all fronts for a second win but we were more desperate.
"We had overriding influence over Rwanda and with that in the back of our mind, we knew only a victory over them would keep us in the race," the 28-year-old went on.
In view of their delicate position in Group B, Opong is fully aware that the Silverbacks have a lot of work if they are to move forward.
The Ugandan ace who joined the Spanish side Avila noted that nothing would be left to chance as Nigeria, Mali and Rwanda will all come out fighting for the tickets to the Second Round.
"We will give our all to ensure that we maintain this second place and improve our points for the next round. Every point matters and we can't afford to rest on our oars until the job is done."