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Basketball: Morans through to Afrobasket despite losing to Mozambique

BASKETBALL By Washington Onyango | February 21st 2021
The national men basketball team Morans training at Nyayo stadium on November 12, 2020 ahead of the upcoming Afrobasket qualifiers set to take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 25th to 29th November 2020. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Kenya Morans were on Sunday handed a heavy 71-44 defeat by Mozambique as the 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers matches came to an end in Cameroon.

Despite the loss, the Morans have qualified for this year’s Afrobasket championship to be held in Rwanda.

Kenya Morans edged out 11-time African champions Angola 74-73 on Saturday to qualify for the 2021 Afrobasket tournament for the first time in 28 years.

The historic win, which Morans fought to the last second for victory, saw Morans register their first-ever win over the Southern Africa nation in basketball history.

The win over Angola sealed Kenya’s fate as they accumulated seven points, two more than Mozambique who had not registered any win in their last five matches.

And after their loss to Mozambique, who bagged their maiden win at the qualifiers, Kenya finishes third in Group B standings with eight points, one point more than Mozambique who bow out of the competition.

Senegal and Angola have already qualified for the Afrobasket with the West Africans leading with 10 points followed by Angola ahead of their final match later in the evening.

Liz Mills, the Australian basketball coach now handling the Kenya Morans. [Courtesy]

In the match against Mozambique, Joel Awich’s 11 points and four rebounds could not propel Kenya past their opponents.

Lacking the brilliance of Taylor Ongwae who was rested by head coach Liz Mills, Kenya started on a low and were trailing by two baskets at the end of the first quarter as Mozambique led 15-13.

In the second quarter, Morans fell further behind after being outplayed 21-10. Mozambique put the game to bed in the third quarter with a 24-9 lead before sealing their first win with a 71-44 win at the end of the match despite Morans claiming the fourth quarter with a narrow 12-11 score.

Kenya will now play at the Afrobasket for the first time since finishing fourth in the 1993 games hosted in Nairobi.

 

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