Uganda’s teams to play at the Zone V AfroCan (Men) and AfroBasket (Women) Qualifiers were officially revealed by the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association on Thursday.
The qualifiers tournament will be played from June 26 to July 1 in Kampala with a single ticket for the winner to play at the continent.
A training squad of sixteen players was named and had their first session on Thursday afternoon at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
The squad has three players who have never been part of the national team set up at any point. These are David Deng Kongor of UCU Canons, JKL Dolphins’ Daniel Monoja and Euro League Allstar Brandon Davies who turns out for Lithuania side Zalgiris Kaunas. Davies is expected in the country on Monday.
With the competition rules allowing just two foreign-based players, the other is John Deng Geu who turns out for North Dakota State University in the NCAA and featured for Uganda during the World Cup qualifiers in Nigeria last year.
Shooting guard Robinson Opong who is expected to play his first game of the season for City Oilers on Friday when they take on KIU Titans is part of the squad. Tony Drilleba, Jimmy Enabu, Josh Johnson, Stephen Omony and James Okello are the other players from the league champions.
Geoffrey Soro returns to the team and is joined by Power teammates Syrus Kiviiri and Joseph Ikong.
Warriors duo of Mark Opio and Stanley Mugerwa as well as JKL Dolphins big man Ivan Lumanyika complete the squad.
Silverbacks head coach George Galanopoulos says anything less of qualification is unacceptable.
“Our goal is to qualify and anything less than that is unacceptable. We will have a competitive practice to select the final 12 and it’s my responsibility to get these players ready.
“We could be different (this time) in terms of play, but we have to get these players in a position to succeed,” Galanopolous said at the presser.
Backcourt: Josh Johnson (City Oilers), Tonny Drilleba (City Oilers), Jimmy Enabu (City Oilers), Syrus Kiviiri (Power), Robinson Odoch (City Oilers), Mark Opiyo (Warriors)
Frontcourt: Steven Omony (City Oilers), Joseph Ikong (Power), David Deng Kongor (UCU Canons), John Deng Geu (North Dakota State, USA), James Okello (City Oilers), Geoffrey Soro (Power), Brandon Davies (Zalgiris Kaunas, Lithuania), Stanley Mugerwa (Warriors), Daniel Manoja (JKL Dolphins), Ivan Lumanyika (JKL Dolphins).