KAMPALA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) – Uganda Silverbacks have never qualified for the FIBA Basketball World Cup and on their first attempt, they are daring to go all the way and give it their best try.
Captain Stephen Omony, a born leader who will be leading his side against the reigning African champions Nigeria, continental giants Mali and archrivals Rwanda, believes that his teammates have what it takes to challenge their opponents.
“We can comfortably say that we shall contend for a place in China. We shall fight and perform to our best abilities to achieve this .'' - Omony
Uganda has shade off any challenge from Rwanda twice in the past three years and will be going into these qualifiers with an edge over their neighbours.
Against Nigeria and Mali, Uganda face solid West African opposition that have a lot of pedigree at this stage as well as experienced players to execute and secure a slot in China.
"It does not comfort us but we would like to look at it in an East vs West African basketball affair. This format measures how far we have come and how much progress we have made, as East Africa to play against the best in Africa.
"They are better than us because they have more experience from playing at the Olympics, NBA and in some European leagues, however, we have also developed. We are no longer the team we were three years ago. I think it is going to be how well we compete against Nigeria, how much of belief we have to confront Nigeria,” Omony explained.
Even if he is aware that they will face a huge task, Omony remains optimistic.
"We can comfortably say that we shall contend for a place in China. We shall fight and perform to our best abilities to achieve this. "As players, what we are looking at ultimately is the FIBA Basketball World Cup. It is the epitome of it all. It is an exciting and new experience. This is a journey of a lifetime for us as players. You cannot explain certain things," the 6ft4in (1.93m) guard said.
Uganda will look to get as much experience from FIBA AfroBasket 2017 set for August 19-30 before the first stage of the qualifiers.