Uganda’s journey to the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China was cut short following three successive defeats in Lagos, Nigeria over the weekend.
The Silverbacks went to Nigeria second in Group B and needed a single win to advance to the Second Round of African Qualifiers but defeats to Nigeria on Friday, Mali on Saturday and Rwanda on Sunday sent the East Africans packing.
And head coach George Galanopolous could not hide his disappointment at not building on the performance in Mali to get Uganda into the final qualifying round.
“Obviously in the last tournament we put ourselves in (a good) position very well in second place and it’s disappointing to be on the outside looking in and what i could attribute this to is may be size and other teams getting a little bit better,” said Galanopoulos.
The American coach of Greek decent put the blame on himself for not being able to get the Silverbacks into the next round of qualifiers.
“I had to do a better job of coaching these kids… They did a great job in February of putting themselves in a position to succeed and I could not do my part to help push them through. They played hard and this one is on me,” he conceded.
“There are a lot of things I think personally I should have changed but it takes time to sit down and kind of self reflect on the different things that you could have done better. I personally just had to coach the group differently and do my best to get them all started out.”
Speaking about the do-or-die game against Rwanda, Galonopoulos said: “It’s disappointing obviously not to convert on the line… Looking back on it, we lost by I think 13 and missed 12 free throws so we could have been in the game but i attribute it to may be being tired, which is on me because I have to do a better job at putting these guys in position to make free throws when they are tired.”
All Uganda’s Results
- Uganda 86-102 Nigeria
- Mali 79-76 Uganda
- Uganda 79-63 Rwanda
- Nigeria 109-66 Uganda
- Uganda 80-95 Mali
- Rwanda 92-79 Uganda