FIBA 2021 Rwanda: Silver Backs make it to Finals
Uganda ended Nigeria’s FIBA AfroBasket 2021 campaign with a shocking 80-62 victory on Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda
The ‘Silverbacks’, equipped with a highly-talented squad, dominated the former African champions from start to finish.
At some point in the game, Uganda led Nigeria by as many as 21 points.
How was Uganda’s triumph possible?
The Ugandans stepped on the court visibly more motivated, more determined, fought for every ball possession because they knew that with a squad of their caliber they had the means to upset a Nigerian team that had been struggling from Day 1.
Ishmail Wainright led Uganda by example, setting the tone with his eleven points, eleven rebounds and six assists; Robinson Opong came off the bench to score 18 of his team-high 19 points from behind the arc, and Deng John Geu, Arthur Kaluma and Adam Seiko combined for 31 points to help Uganda stay in contention.
Uzodinma Utomi led Nigeria in scoring with 23 points, Ikenna Ndugba, Jeremiah Mordi, Stephen George Domingo combined for 35 points.
“The key to game was our defense. Holding them under 36 percent from the field; we forced 19 turnovers. I think what is going to be more impactful in the future is the influence that these players will have on the new generation,” Uganda head coach George Galanopoulos said.
With the win, Uganda advanced to the AfroBasket Quarter-Finals for the time in their basketball history while Nigeria fell short of the Last Eight for the first time since 1980 when they finished eleventh in Rabat, Morocco.