Kenya lost 62-59 to Uganda in the women’s return leg at the ongoing Fiba Africa Zone V Basketball Championships in Cairo, Egypt.
Natalie Akinyi top scored for Kenya with 11 points. J Nansobya contributed eight points for Uganda who were determined not to lose to the neighbours again after Kenya beat them 70-41 in the first leg played at the Cairo Olympic Centre on Monday night.
“It was a tough match. Uganda were really out to pull a win on this especially after losing on Monday,” said Kenya’s head coach David Maina.
Kenya was scheduled to play Egypt last night. Egypt won the first leg 87-62 and Maina was hopeful that they would rise to the occasion to win the return leg.
In order for Kenya to qualify for the continental championships to be held in Brazzaville, Congo from August 19 to 30 they had to beat Egypt in the return leg and pray that Uganda too overcome the hosts who are well-oiled and leaving nothing to chance at the event.
Uganda were beaten 56-85 by Egypt in the first leg.
The women’s contest played on round robin was turned to a home and away contest after Somalia women failed to turn up for the championships thereby leaving only three countries to contest for the two available slots for Congo event.
At the same time, Kenya beat Somalia 90-87 in the men’s fifth place classification played on Thursday night.
Kenyan men were led into the match by Evans Kipchirchir Leting who scored a game high 25 points. M. Ali had 24 for Somalia. Somalia were a better side in the opening quarter which they won 23-22.
Kenya rose in the second quarter to win 28-18 before the breather.
Coach Carey Odhiambo used the half time break to correct some of the mistakes his side was making on the pitch.
Kenya continued with the good run on resumption, winning the third quarter 20-17 before losing the fourth quarter 29-20 to Somalia.
“At least we were able to pull a win after losing all our group stage matches due to some minor mistakes,” Odhiambo said.