ENTEBBE Uganda (Xinhua) --
Uganda’s head coach Mande Juruni
has warned Nigeria ahead of their opener of the 2019
FIBA Basketball World Cup African qualifiers.
Nigeria is a big team with experienced players, but we
know how we must react against them because we played at
the AfroBasket tournament last year,” Juruni told Xinhua
on Sunday before the team traveled to Bamako, Mali for
Africa Zone 5 champions, grouped alongside hosts Mali,
Nigeria and arch-rivals Rwanda, will start the campaign
against Nigeria on Feb. 23, face Mali the next day and
conclude their group game against Rwanda on Feb. 25.
at the Entebbe International Airport that playing in a
World Cup qualifier is big and they will take every game
as a final. “Every game will matter so much. But it
would be great to start with a win,” said Juruni who has
Nicholas Natuhwereza as his assistant coach.
D’Tigers will be a tough team to beat because they have
cemented their continental status as the heavyweights
taking the latest rankings into consideration. Globally
they are placed 32nd. The Nigerian team will
look to big names like Ike Diogu, Ikechukwu Nwamu and
qualifiers consist of 12 tournaments played across six
windows. The first round sees four groups of four teams
each. Teams face each other in two legs. Top three teams
from each group advance to the second round, where the
12 qualified teams are divided in two groups (E and F)
of 6 teams each.
The top two
teams from groups E and F and the best third-ranked team
will secure their tickets for the FIBA Basketball World
Cup 2019, which will be played in China.
Abraham Enabu, Joshua Johnson, Robinson Odoch Opong,
Syrus Kiviiri, Mark Opio, Samuel Mukooza, Stephen Omony
(captain), Joseph Ikong, James Okello, Stanley Mugerwa,
Stanley Ocitti, Brandon Sebirumbi.