The Uganda national basketball team, the Silverbacks, who participated in the Afrobasket Championships in Kigali, Rwanda amidst financial difficulties, have been ranked sixth-best at Africa’s premier basketball competition.
The Silverbacks started the tournament on the wrong footing, losing to giants Senegal, before registering their first-ever win at the competition after overwhelming underdogs Cameroon and then narrowly losing to debutants South Sudan.
The win against Cameroon was enough to earn them a quarter-final qualifier playoff against Nigeria, another African giant.
They upset the West Africans 80-68 to qualify for the quarters, where they were outdone 79-71 by Island nation Cape Verde, whose giant Oscar Tavarez turned out to be the difference between the two sides.
Despite bowing out at the quarter-final stage, Uganda secured sixth place courtesy of being the second-best losers in the quarters.
They did all this while the uncertainty of their stay at their Hotel in Kigali hung over their heads, with Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) president Nasser Sserunjogi making daily appeals for financial assistance back home before they were bailed out by First Son Muhoozi Kainerugaba.