Kenya's Morans keep attackers at bay

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Thursday, January 16th 2020 at 06:00 GMT +3 | Basketball
Eic Mutoro (L) of Kenya Morans tackle Cornelius Gabriel of Tanzania during their FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers match at Nyayo Gmnasium stadium in Nairobi on January 15, 2020. Photo/Stafford Ondego

Kenya Morans yesterday beat Tanzania 95-59 in their second match of the ongoing 2021 FIBA AfroBasket Pre-qualifiers at Nyayo Gymnasium.

The victory increased Kenya’s chances of securing the remaining Group B spot of the Qualifier.

Kenya was the better side from the whistle taking a 20-point lead at the break of the first quarter without a reply from their neighbours.

Tanzanians found their footing in the second quarter scoring 18 points but it was not good enough as the homeboys stretched their lead to 44-18 going into the breather.

Tanzania, who travelled with seven players, only improved later into the match scoring 41 points in the second half but it wasn’t enough to grant them victory as the Kenyans cruised to their second win with points, same as South Sudan.

Meanwhile, South Sudan continued with their brilliant form in the on-going 2021 FIBA AfroBasket championships, chalking their second century as they thrashed Eritrea 111-57 to make it two wins out of two at Nyayo Gymnasium, yesterday.

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The Sudanese affirmed their intent to seal the remaining Qualifier proper Group B slot with their second win having trounced Somalia 112-79 in their opening clash. 

Bol Bak led South Sudan with 20 points with Nyang Wek adding 15. Aron Zekariahs sunk a match-high 22 while Israel Mulugeta scored 14 against the physically advantaged Sudanese.

However, the duo, which was also outstanding against hosts Kenya, watched as Makuel Duondak (14), Emmanuel Malou (14) and Deng Mayot (12) all hit double digits to subject them to their second loss of the championship.

Kenya Morans Eic Mutoro reacts against Tanzania during their FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers match at Nyayo Gmnasium stadium in Nairobi on January 15, 2020. Photo/Stafford Ondego Sudanese basketball fans at the Nyayo Stadium. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

In a quest to show that they are the team to beat, Sudan dominated the clash from the onset.

The Eritreans took a brave show slowing the opponents in the first five minutes of the match.

However, Sudan settled in the match to take the first quarter 28-15. Sudan were unstoppable in the second quarter totally subduing rookies Eritrea to score 35 points against eight and take a commanding 63-23 half-time lead.

On resumption, Israel, who was the match top scorer with 23 points against Kenya, was solid together with Zekariahs as they engaged their opponents in a tight contest.

The two helped their side score 20 points, one less than Sudan in the third period.

The Sudanese regained control of the game in the final period scoring 27 points against Eritrea’s 14 to enhance their chances of advancing to the next round.

Despite the loss, Israel was elated saying they had played well and will improve in their next match. 

“This is our first ever international tournament and for many of us, it’s the first time we have travelled out of the country. We have lost yes but as far as the lessons are concerned, we have gained and we will return home better players,” Israel said.

In another encounter, late entrants Burundi announced their arrival with a resounding 106-86 win over Somalia.

Jean Hakizimana and Giubert Nijimbire led Burundi with 27 and 23 points respectively. 

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