Basketball: Kenya Morans to kick off AfroBasket on Wednesday
BASKETBALL By Washington Onyango | August 23rd 2021
The African finals tip-off at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda on Tuesday and run until September 5.
Morans will play their first match on Wednesday against Côte d’Ivoire before facing Nigeria on Friday. Their last Group C match will see them tackle Mali over the weekend on Sunday.
And after sharpening their skills in a buildup match against five-time continental champions Senegal on Sunday, Morans coach Liz Mills is unbowed ahead of the games.
Despite losing 74-67 to Senegal, Mills said she is happy with her team’s performance ahead of the 30th edition tip-off.
The Morans also lost 40-59 against Uganda on Monday morning at Nyarutarama in Kigali.
Morans' Tom Wamukota and Taylor Ongwae combine for 26 points in the defeat as Gorgui Dieng and Cheikh Bamba Diallo led the West Africans in the buildup match.
Morans had played a friendly match against the national league champions Ulinzi Warriors at Nyayo National Stadium winning by a close 75-72 margin.
Travelling players include forward Tylor Ongwae (Denmark), centre Tom “Bush” Wamukota, who plays for Rwandan champions Patriots, Ariel Okal (Oman), Derrick Ogech (USA), Albert Onyango (USA), Ronnie Ogundo (USA), Valentine Nyakinda from Rwanda and Fidel Okoth (Uganda) and Desmond Owili (Australia) among others.
On the backside, Morans have been hit with a double blow after two key players pulled out ahead of the tip-off next week.
US-based Joel Awich and Preston Bungei in Australia will both miss the AfroBasket even after forming part of the Moran side that stunned continental giants Angola 74-73 during the t qualifiers.
Kenya will be returning to the continental championship for the first time in nearly three decades.
The 16 team continental festival that runs between August 24 and September 5 at the iconic Kigali Arena, will see the top five nations book their tickets to the world championships.
Kenya last played in this continental championship in 1993 in Nairobi by virtue of being the host nation where they finished fourth.
Morans Team: Griffin Ligare, Okal Koranga Albert Odero, Joseph Khaemba. Ronald Gombe, Valentine Nyakinda, Victor Bosire, Eric Mutoro, Bush Wamukota, Desmond Owili, Fidel Okoth, Tylor Ongwae, Derrick Ogechi and Faheem Juma.
Group A- Rwanda, DRC Congo, Angola,Cape Verde
Group B-Tunisia, Central Africa Republic, Egypt, Guinea
Group C- Kenya, Nigeria, Mali, Ivory Coast
Group D- Senegal, Uganda, Cameroon, South Sudan
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