Jimmy Enabu and Jordin Mayes Credit: FIBA

FIBA Basketball World Cup Qualifiers

Sunday Result

  • Rwanda 92-79 Uganda
[/media-credit] Samuel Kalwanyi and Elie Kaje contest the jump ball Credit: FIBA

Uganda’s dream of playing at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup ended with the 92-79 defeat to Rwanda at the National Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday.

The Silverbacks went into the encounter against their regional rivals needing victory to advance to the second and final qualifying round but a poor third quarter set them up for defeat.

Vet Kenneth Gasana put the first points on the board and Robinson Opong quickly responded and the two sides fighting for their place at the second round of the qualifiers went back and fourth for the opening five minutes.

Gasana, Dan Manzi and Olivier Shyaka6 sparked Rwanda to an 8-0 run but Silverbacks crawled back to trail by a couple of points (25-23) at the end of the period.

Rwanda edged the closely contested second quarter 18-17 to take a 3-point lead into the long break.

[/media-credit] Robinson Opong battles for the rebound with Elie Kaje Credit: FIBA

Turning Point

Silverbacks missed the opening six field goal attempts of the third quarter and Rwanda, through, Shyaka6, Darrius Garret, Manzi, Aristide Mugabe quietly built a double-digit lead that went to as big as 16 points.

Rwanda stretched the lead to as big as 19 in the fourth quarter and not even Uganda’s late pressure derailed them.

Robinson Opong scored team high 18 points and Jordin Mayes added 16 points. Uganda’s most consistent performer at the event John Deng Geu contributed 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

[/media-credit] Jimmy Enabu and Jordin Mayes Credit: FIBA

Meanwhile, Gasana scored game high 20 points to pace Rwanda, Dan Manzi added 17 points while Elie Kaje had a quiet 16 points and 11 rebounds double-double.

Olivier Shyaka6 contributed 16 points while Garret showed out with a 13 points and 15 rebounds performance.

Rwanda thus joins Nigeria and Mali as the three teams from Group B to make the second round of the qualifiers.

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

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