M: Uganda 85-74 Somalia
M: Egypt 79-63 Rwanda
M: Kenya Vs Somalia 7:00pm
“It’s one game at a time and one is down” Uganda’s point guard, Josh Johnson said after the Silverbacks cruised past Somalia in an intense game that closed the opening day of the FIBA Africa Zone V qualifiers at the MTN Arena.
The Silverbacks used a heavy offensive second quarter and a suffocating defense through the game that countered Yusuf Qafoow’s individual brilliance and limited Faisal Aden’s attempts to pull away from Somalia enroute to the win.
“We kept it as a team and it was a group effort to get him (Fiasal) out” Johnson said on the Silverbacks defensive play against Somalia’s sharp shooter, Faisal Aden.
Uganda trailed the first quarter 21-23 but the 27-16 second quarter advantage gave them the edge all through the game. Power forward, Henry Malinga led Uganda’s balanced team scoring efforts with 16 points – some coming off dunks that got the crowd inside the Arena going on their feet.
Guards, Samuel Mukoza, Kasim Nagwere and Jimmy Enabu contributed 11 points each while center, Ivan Lumanyika matched their points and grabbed 15 rebounds. “For me i take it as my responsibility” Lumanyika said on his rebounding effort. “I keep on improning every game and i hope i will even be better the next game” the big man added.
Despite being kept at bay, Faisal Aden led Somalia with game high 20 points off the bench on a 6-for-11 shooting from the field and nailed all 5 foul shots.
“Faisal was not ready. He joined the team yesterday after traveling for four days. He was tired” Somalia’s coach, Omar Baarajab said on Aden’s rather quite night.
Skipper, Yusuf Qafoow added 17 points and handed out 5 assists. Guard, Ahmed Eman contributed 13 points.
Earlier, Zone V defending champions Egypt once again defated last year’s finalists Rwanda in the Zone V Nationas Qaulifiers opening game. Moamen Abouelain led the way for Egypt with 16 points. Amr Adelahim added 12 points. Haytham Khalefa chipped in with 11 while Muhamed Elsabash and Muostafa Elmakawy contributed 10 points apiece.
Kenneth Gasana and Kami Kabange scored 15 and 12 points respectively for Rwanda.
Meanwhile, Somalia will be back on the floor tonight to take on Kenya at 7pm. “We know they (Kenya) are a good team. We played them last year, we won one and they beat us one” Baarajab said. “I can’t say we will win or not because that happens on the court but we will play a good game” he added.
The Silverbacks will be back on court on Tuesday to take on Egypt.