Friday, July 1
•Nigeria 70-79 Cape Verde
•Uganda 20-00 Mali
Saturday, July 2
•Mali Vs Nigeria
•Cape Verde Vs Uganda – 4pm
Uganda’s National Basketball team, the Silverbacks, have picked a walkover against Mali in their first game of the second window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
Mali have forfeited the game, with reports suggesting that the players are on strike because of unpaid bonuses.
As Uganda players were warming up on one side of the Kigali Arena court, Mali were nowhere to be seen.
Per the rules, a team has until a minimum of 15 minutes to arrive after set tip off time.
And failure to do so, the team loses the match by forfeiture.
Uganda wins the match, getting two points for a victory, with a winning margin of 20 points.
The result means Uganda leapfrog Mali who remain on five points.
Three teams – Cape Verde, Nigeria and Uganda – are on six points.
The top three will qualify for the second round of the Qualifiers, as the teams continue their bid to the 2023 FIBA World Cup in India, Japan and Indonesia.
Advantage Silverbacks, But….
Uganda lost to Mali 76-66 in the first round, a difference of 10 points. And today’s win and 20 points difference puts Uganda hands Uganda enormous advantage.
And if the game was to be played, it was going to be a big ask for the Silverbacks to overturn that deficit.
More work still needs to be done, it’s still tight to call, especially if Mali shows up for games against Nigeria and Cape Verde.
Cape Verde beat Nigeria 79-70 for their second win, in a game they showed resilience and grit when Nigeria tried to come back down the stretch.
Walter Tavares who fouled out in the closing minutes, scored 15 points and will be the man to look out for against Uganda.
Cape Verde has some quality across their roster including the Almeida brothers (Joel and Ivan).
But Uganda who will have fresh legs after a forfeit day, will fancy their chances having won the first round fixture 77-74 in Benguela, Angola.