State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysestom Muyingo flags off the Silverback
State Minister for Higher Education John Chrysestom Muyingo hands over the national flag to Silverbacks captain Stephen Omony

If national men’s basketball captain Steven Omony’s words are anything to go by, Uganda will not take long to comfortably sit at the table of men and have a conversation that hints on winning the African championship.

According to the skipper, the gap between the ‘big boys’ and the lesser teams is steadily lessening and all the nations competing at the FIBA Afrobasket will soon have a chance of winning the championship.

“The most important thing is to get that fear out and compete with whoever you come across,” Omony said before the team was flagged off at National Council of Sports on Thursday afternoon.

“The gap between the established teams and the minnows is no longer that big,” the City Oilers player added.

Having led the Silverbacks at their first ever appearance at Afrobasket in 2015, Omony is one of the players with the experience required to play at that level and believes Uganda have a chance of competing this year.

“We have a stronger group this year and I believe we can compete,” the former Falcons player revealed.

However, Omony also revealed that it is important for the team to appreciate the level of competition at continental level vis-à-vis Uganda’s infancy at the high level.

“We have to have measured targets for now but the future is definitely bright.”

With players like Jonathan Egau, Stanley Mugerwa and Jonah Otim coming through the ranks, their blend with the seasoned campaigners gives the Silverbacks the right balance.

Samuel Kalwanyi, who missed the qualifiers due to college commitments in the US, will return to the team fold alongside Stanley Ociti, A’darius Pegeus and Robinson Odoch Opong to complete the foreign based lot.

The team will have a two-week camp in Alexandria, Egypt before flying to Dakar, Senegal for the first round of games in Group B.

Uganda is grouped with powerhouse Angola, Morocco and Central African Republic and will require two wins to progress to the second round.

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