By Simon Abaho
Uganda’s Silverbacks lost to South Sudan 88-86 in a high-intensity entertaining game played at Kigali Arena on Sunday night.
The Silverbacks failed to protect the interior with South Sudan getting a lot of easy stuff in the paint for three quarters but compensated with good outside shooting.
South Sudan won the opening quarter 26-23 sparked by Dhieu Abwok Deing who started the game with a hot hand. The newcomers to the African stage took a six-point (50-44) to the halftime break.
On return for the third quarter, South Sudan extended the lead to 9 points early but the Silverbacks clawed back through a team effort and took the lead on Ishmail Wainright’s pair of throws with under two minutes to play but it was all tied at 65 going into the last period.
It was a seesaw in the fourth quarter with both teams running more sets than the first three quarters. The Silverbacks couldn’t prevail despite mailman Ishmail Wainright controlling the tempo and pace of the game that came down to the final shot exceptionally well.
Wainright did a little bit of everything stuffing the stat sheet with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Robinson Opong added 17 points, brothers Arthur Kaluma and Adam Seiko contributed 14 points each while Deng John Geu had 11 points.
Deing matched game-high 22 points to lead South Sudan, Mathiang Mauot Muo added 17 points, Deng Acuoth netted 13 points and pulled down game-high 18 rebounds while Kuany Ngor Kuany chipped in with 13 points in the historic win.
Qualifier for Quarterfinals
Uganda will face Nigeria in the qualification for the quarterfinals on Tuesday, August 31.
On the other hand, South Sudan will battle Kenya who beat Mali in a repeat of the Zonal AfroBasket pre-qualifiers final played in Nairobi.