George Galanopoulos Credit: FIBA

Despite securing two wins during the first leg of the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers, Uganda’s defense left a lot to be desired.

The Silverbacks allowed the highest number of points, 284, in the three Group E games but were potent on the offensive end thus securing two wins that put them in a position of near qualification.

Head coach George Galanopoulos believes the success during the first window was due to preparations the team had prior to the tournament.

“What I was most proud of and what I think the group has taken away (from the first window) and we can build on in this window is the way in which we went about with preparing that brought us those two wins. I don’t think it was an accident that we won those two games.

“This group of guys is a very strong cohesive unit, from the guys that are there locally in Uganda and the consistency we have there and leadership we have over there and then coupled with the guys that come from overseas, it’s just a very good group. We are excited to have everybody back,” said Galanopoulos.

Silverbacks during the playing of the national anthem before the game against Cape Verde Credit: FIBA

While he feels the team played well on the offensive end, Galanopoulos doesn’t shy away from the fact that the defense needs a lot of improvement.

“Our offense was good. We did well as a group but the energy and the togetherness of the team through the first loss and through some moments of those games we won I think spoke volumes about how they play as a group and how they feel about each other.

“I think what we can improve for sure is defensively and that’s is something we got to really take a look at as the coaching staff. If we can build on our success offensively as well as improve defensively, we can only get better from here.

“Everybody seems to be just excited about moving forward and the momentum that we have, expectations are good I think that means that you’re building something and it’s how you handle those expectations. To us our job doesn’t change, our approach doesn’t change we will figure out what we need to get better at and how to get better at it and what we need to do during preparations. Expectations are as a result of us getting better and we just need to keep chipping away at it and I think the rest will take care of itself.

“We are going to work a lot on defense and we are going to figure out where exactly we went wrong and in the limited time that we have together we going to make sure that we are cohesive on that end of the floor and everybody knows what we are doing around the same page.”

The team will have its first training session today after undergoing quarantine and returning negative tests for Covid-19.

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

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