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Basketball: Hope for Kenya Morans ahead of Angola duel in Afrobasket qualifiers

BASKETBALL By Washington Onyango | February 20th 2021
Liz Mills, the Australian basketball coach now handling the Kenya Morans. [Courtesy]

Kenya Morans will be seeking to bounce back to winning ways when they face Angola on Saturday (today) at 10 PM East African Time in their Fiba Afrobasket 2021 Group 'B' qualifiers second match.

Morans had a poor start to the qualifiers hosted in Yaoundé, Cameroon after losing to West African giants 69-51 on Friday afternoon.

Debutant Preston Bungei scored seven points in the first half registering two rebounds and two assists as Kenya lead 31-27 at the break.

However, in second half, Senegal outplayed Kenya to a massive 42-20 score with Senegalese talisman Bamba Diallo and Mbaye Ndiaye leading the West Africans in the paint.

The national men basketball team Morans captain Eric Mutoro (Forward) introducing the team From Left; Coach Cliff Owuor, Preston Bungei, Valentine Nyakinda, Victor Odendo, Fidel Okoth and Ken Wachira during evening training season 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]

Speaking during a post-game interview, Morans head coach Liz Mills said she was proud of the team’s performance in the first half, terming their second half humiliation as a learning curve along the road.

“Senegal is one of the top teams in Africa. We could not handle their intensity in the second half but we have to up our game and play competitively across the whole 40 minutes,” she said.

“Despite losing, the boys played well. We improved on our plays which was not evident during the first leg played last year in Rwanda and I believe we will match Senegal the next time we meet.”

Morans lost to Senegal by a massive 92-54 during the first leg played last year in Rwanda but improved to a score of 69-51 in Cameroon on Saturday.

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Ahead of their second qualifier match against Angola, Morans Center Desmond Owili said despite being the underdogs, they can match their play and bag their second win in the qualifiers.

“There is no doubt that Angola is a top team compared to us. However, we have a very experienced coach in Liz whom we trust will make a tactical plan ahead of the game as we eye a win in Cameroon,” said the Australian-based player.

Kenya Morans are currently third in the Group B standings with 5 points. Unbeaten Senegal lead the log with 8 points followed by Angola with 7 points as Mozambique are bottom with four points after failing to win any of their four matches they have played.

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