Ugandan point guard Joshua Johnson insists the East Africans have what it takes to qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The Scoprions of Uganda are drawn in Group D alongside hosts, Mail, Rwanda and Nigeria for the qualifying tournament which takes place from February 23 to February 25.
They will begin their campaign against 2015 African champions Nigeria on February 23 before taking on hosts Mali and finally arch-rivals Rwanda.
“We (Uganda) have a chance to sneak in a couple of wins against Nigeria, Mali and Rwanda,” the 25-year-old Johnson told FIBA.com.
“These are world class teams (Nigeria, Mali and Rwanda) that have been doing this for a long time but one thing I can say is that, we have to respect our opponents but we should not fear them.
“As a team I think that we have to go to Mali knowing that we deserve to be here and that we did not come here by wild card or as a replacement but we got here because we deserve to.
Joshua has been included in the final 12-man Ugandan roster that will make their debut at the World Cup Qualifiers stage this weekend in the Malian capital of Bamako.
Meanwhile, the D’Tigers are yet to name their squad for the 2019 FIBA AfroBasket World Cup qualifiers despite arriving in Bamako, Mali in batches.