The Uganda men’s basketball team, Silverbacks, are in Dakar Senegal for the Group Stages of the Afrobasket 2017 Championship.

The 29th edition of the Afrobasket Championship, a men’s basketball continental championship of Africa kicks off today 8th to the 16th September.

The tournament is jointly hosted by Tunisia and Senegal, with Dakar hosting the group phase-matches while Tunis will host the knock out phase from September 14th-16th.

The Tournament started way back in March with thirty teams competing for twelve slots through the seven Zones. Two teams, Rwanda and Guinea were awarded Wildcards while Central African Republic had to go through the additional qualifying Tournament in Bamako, Mali, to fill the void that had been left by Congo Brazaville who withdrew from the hosting duties of the Final Round. Only 2015 Champions, Nigeria, qualified automatically for the Tournament.

Nigeria won the 2015 edition of the biennial tournament held in Radès, Tunisia

Uganda finished in second place following their 72-95 loss to Egypt, the eventual Champions of Zone V in Cairo.

Group Draws were conducted on July 16 in Mauritius pitting Uganda in Group B with Zone 6 and 7 group 1 winners Angola, Central African Republic and Zone 1 runners-up, Morocco. Here is a summary of how the Groups stand.

Group A; Nigeria, DR. Congo, Mali and Ivory Coast.

Group B; Uganda, Angola, Central African Republic and Morocco

Group C; Tunisia, Guinea, Rwanda and Cameroon

Group D; Senegal, Mozambique, Egypt and South Africa.

All groups will have their first matches played today, September 8, and Uganda starts the campaign against Angola.

Uganda will face Angola today in their first group B match.

Summary of today’s fixtures

Group A

Congo v Mali

Nigeria v Ivory Coast

Group B

Central African Republic v morocco

Angola v Uganda

Group C

Guinea v Rwanda

Tunisia v Cameroon

Group D

Mozambique v Egypt

Senegal v South Africa

Only two teams from each group will qualify for the next round, the round of eight knock-out stages.

After a successful camp in Alexandria, Egypt, where the Silverbacks held trial games and acclimatization training programs the team traveled to Dakar on Wednesday and are ready for the task ahead. Uganda’s game will be played at 12am (midnight) according to FUBA.

The Afrobasket 2017 tournament was initially set to be hosted by the Republic of Congo, but the west African country claimed logistical issues as the reason for its inability to host the competition.

According to Angencia Angola Press, Angola who were selected as replacements had the opportunity rejected by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, citing elections as the main reason they could not host the event.