The final buzzer of the Zone V AfroCan Qualifier between Uganda and Kenya was greeted with silence from the partisan capacity crowd at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.
The Silverbacks, despite coming close twice, had failed to escape Kenya’s onslaught in their opener to start their journey back to the continent on a losing note.
The Kenyans surprised Uganda with their solid interior defence and outside shooting as the visitors took the opening quarter.
Kenya went on a scoring run early in the second quarter with Tylor Ongwae hitting three consecutive threes as Kenya opened a 13-point lead, and midway the quarter the Kenyans doubled Uganda’s score, 34-17.
The Silverbacks, through a team effort led by Tony Drileba, fought back in the final five minutes of the quarter to cut the deficit to a single digit (9 points) heading into the long break.
While Ongwae was limited in the second half in which he scored just four points to tally game-high 19 points, the big man Tom Wamukota pilled up 18 and Erick Mutoro contributed 12 points as the Morans put out every fire the Silverbacks threw at them.
Brandon Davies logged 37 minutes during which he kept Uganda in the game. He scored team-high 15 points and grabbed 21 rebounds but had little support from teammates with only Robinson Opong (12 points) and Tonny Drilleba (11 points) reaching double figures in scoring. John Deng Geu had a night to forget as he shot a disappointing 3-of-15, missing some easy stuff at the basket.
Uganda returns to action on Saturday to face Egypt while Kenya take on the same opponents later today.