GOING GETS TOUGH FOR KENYA IN CAIRO: Basketball teams lose ties in Fiba championships

By ERICK OCHIENG': Thursday, March 16th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Basketball
Coop Bank's Job Byron (left) shield Tobias Odumbe of KPA from the ball during play-off game 3 at Nyayo National stadium on Saturday, Feb 11, 2017. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

This was not the kind of outing Kenyan teams expected at the Fiba Africa Zone V Basketball Championships in Cairo, Egypt.

The women’s team lost 87-62 to hosts Egypt, while their brothers lost 68-66 to newcomers, South Sudan at the Cairo Olympics Centre on Tuesday night.

The loss to debutants South Sudan has angered many Kenyan citizens, with some directing their agony to the social media.

Veteran sports writer Gichinga Njoroge wrote on his voiceofsport.net website thus;

“Kenya men in Cairo are certainly far behind in skill and ability. Kenya must be warned that they do not only have Egypt and Rwanda to contend with, but also South Sudan, to prove their standards are anywhere near top in Zone 5, leave alone in Africa.”

Kenya Basketball Federation critic Opiyo Dikembe was equally flabbergasted over the unexpected loss and took to the federation's Facebook page to express his feelings.

“Vijana tuanze holiday (Guys, let's begin our holiday). I don’t blame you, selection and preparation yetu ndio mbaya (preparations was our main undoing).”

This was the men team's second loss after that 76-60 defeat against Rwanda in their opening match on Monday night.

Men’s head coach Carey Odhiambo could not hide his disappointment.

“We played badly, we have failed to capitalise on the numerous turnovers. Our free throws were poor and the abundant rebounds that came our way, we let them go easily.

"We have not shown great coordination in our matches.”

Likewise, the Kenya versus Egypt (women) match was punctuated with unforced errors by the visitors. Egypt went on the rampage, winning the opening quarter 26-11.

Kenya resumed a better side in the second quarter as Natalie Akinyi led with great command to win 23-21. But their joy was short-lived after they failed to sustain the onslaught.

Egypt kept Kenyans on their toes, breaking their hearts the more with every basket sunk. This was not their day really. They lost the third quarters 17-14, before bowing 23-14 in the fourth.

Akinyi had 13 points for Kenya, Samba Mjomba added 11, while captain Hilda Indasi and Georgia Adhiambo sunk 10 each.

Egypt’s R. Osama scored game high 23 points and her teammates M. Awad and Mohamed Yahia added 21 and 19 points for the win.

  

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