George Galanopoulos Credit: FIBA
[/media-credit] Silverbacks coach George Galanopoulos Credit: FIBA

When George Galanopoulos joined the Silverbacks prior to the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket, what was clear is that Uganda’s national basketball team had no identity.

But after their first game at the tournament, there was a little insight of how the Silverbacks would play under the American coach of Greek decent.

Uganda matched Angola pound for pound before falling short in overtime. Uncharacteristic of the Silverbacks in previous international tournaments, there was no resignation in game and played hard through out its duration.

With his side not extremely skilled and undersized, Galanopoulos seems to have zeroed on an identity that suits the group of players at his disposal and how he wants the team to play.

Speaking after the 90-66 defeat to Saudi Arabia on Saturday night in an exhibition game in Turkey, Galanopoulos said: “We have played two games and this is the first game that this group has played together ever. We won our first game (against Iraq) by 18 and I was proud of how they came together so quickly, moved the ball well (and) played extremely hard.

“Tonight was a different story. We lost by 24 to Saudi Arabia against a team that was trapping a lot, more aggressive than we were and they played harder than us tonight which is unacceptable.”

Our identity as a team is going to be that we are the hardest playing playing team on the court every single time that we play no matter what.

“So tonight we were not that but it’s our second day together. We just need to get better every single day and we will do our our best to get better each and every day.”

The team is currently camped in Turkey where they are taking part in the Molten Istanbul Cup as they prepare for the first round (second leg) of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers scheduled for June 29 to July 1 in Lagos, Nigeria.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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