• AfroBasket 2021 Quarterfinals (EAT)
  • Tunisia vs. South Sudan – 4:00pm
  • Cape Verde vs. Uganda – 7:00pm
Ishmail Wainright shoots a jumper during the qualifiers game against Cape Verde | Credit: FIBA

A semifinal spot at the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 will be at stake when Uganda’s Silverbacks take on Cape Verde on Thursday evening.

The clash at Kigali Arena will be a repeat of the qualifiers game played last year at Al Ittihad Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt. The Silverbacks prevailed in the game that looked like an offensive exhibition 101-98.

Cape Verde (2-1) and Uganda (2-2) play a nearly similar type of basketball but the Silverbacks play with a little more pace. The two sides thrive on outside shooting, and thus it will be important for either side to defend the three-point line.

In vet Fidel Mendonca, point guard Jeffrey Nunes Xavier, as well as forwards Joel Almeida and Ivan Almeida, the 2007 bronze medalists Cape Verde have real offensive power at the perimeter.

Seven-footer Walter Tavares could be a handful for John Deng Geu in the post. The Real Madrid center has given Cape Verde the interior presence they missed during the qualifiers, averaging 14 points and as many rebounds a game.

Ishmail Wainright who torched Cape Verde in the qualifiers has directed Uganda’s traffic at the tournament, delivering triple-double performances in the last couple of games. His ability to drive to the basket or find the open man will be key for the Silverbacks.

Adam Seiko has massively added to Uganda’s outside shooting. The 6’3″ guard has complemented Robinson Opong very well in delivering goods from downtown.

Deng Geu has quietly and efficiently delivered for Silverbacks on both ends of the floor. The 6’9″ athletic center is a reliable rim protector and contributes 10 points at the other end of the court.

Arthur Kaluma has made it clear how he is not content with how he’s performing and could be looking to deliver a performance that will see Uganda in the semifinals. The 19-year-old 6’9″ power forward is not afraid to attack the basket and only needs to polish the finishing.

Meanwhile, in the first game of the day, continental stage new arrivals South Sudan will battle defending champions Tunisia who are unscratched thus far.

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

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