Uganda 🇺🇬 vs Cape Verde 🇨🇻
The Uganda National Basketball team, the Silverbacks will put aside their money woes when they take on Cape Verde in a quarter-final game of the ongoing FIBA Afrobasket games in Kigali, Rwanda.
Tthe Silverbacks last played Cape Verde in November last year, beating them 101-98 in the AfroBasketball qualifiers in Group E.
In the hotly contested game played at the Al ittihad arena in Alexandria, Uganda’s International star Ishmail Wainright scored a game-high, 36 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
The Silverbacks shot past Nigeria on Tuesday evening to storm their first-ever quarter-final of the continental championship, but a threat to throw them out hangs over them due to failure to meet their financial obligations.
Uganda will lean on the in-form forward Ishmail Wainright who also produced another master-class performance with a double -double of 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists in their victory against Nigeria together with Robinson Opong who garnered a team-high 19 points where he recorded several 3s plus Arthur Kaluma and Deng Geu who scored 11 points each.
Five-time AfroBasket champions Senegal and two-time winners Côté d’Ivoire are already in the semifinal, having booked their places yesterday.
Arnold Katabi, Vice President Marketing and Publicity Federation of Uganda Basketball Association- FUBA earlier told URN in an interview that they are yet to confirm whether they play the game or not.
The team is currently relying on credit from FIBA to cover their bills as per the communication from the Basketball Federation President, Naser Sserunjoji. According to Katabi, they have already notified the first lady and Sports and Education Minister on the fate of the team in writing.
“It is still uncertain because we haven’t received any money, we are taking it day by day, Federation of International Basketball Association, (FIBA) had given us the 29th of August 2021 to clear the bills, but we are waiting to see what they say. We wrote a letter to the first lady but we haven’t received any response,” Katabi said.
The team need participation fees, accommodation fees, player’s allowances and air tickets they borrowed to travel to travel to Kigali among other things. According to Sserunjoji, the team needs over Shillings 360 million if they are to clear all the pending bills.
Before leaving Uganda for the games, Sserunjoji released a statement indicating that the team needed over Shillings 360,000,000million for their stay in Kigali. This came after the Federation had acquired Shillings 340,000,000 from the National Council of Sports to fund the basketball team during their preparations and in the final games.
Sserunjoji says that they used the money to pay a loan they had earlier acquired in the team’s qualifiers for the games against Morocco. While preparing for the last qualifying games in June, the team faced a financial huddle when the National Council of Sports-NCS revealed that they did not have funds to facilitate them.
Consequently, FUBA was forced to acquire a loan of USD 100,000 to facilitate the team’s participation in the qualifiers. If in any chance Uganda is allowed to play, the team will have to raise their heads high to outplay Cape Verde and storm their first-ever Semi-final.