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Kenya Lioness defeat Egypt to qualify for Afrobasket

BASKETBALL By Washington Onyango | July 17th 2021
Kenya Lioness players celebrate after qualifying for Afrobasket. [Courtesy]

The Kenya national women’s basketball team Lioness on Saturday evening qualified for the 2021 Afrobasket Championship after defeating pre-tournament favourites Egypt 99-83 in the final of the Fiba AfroBasket Zone Five qualifiers played at the Kigali Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.

Led by US-based duo of Felmas Koranga and Victoria Reynolds, Kenya avenged their group match lose to the Egyptians (107-106) to seal a second consecutive appearance at the continental showpiece.

The duo combined for 49 points with Reynolds finishing with a game-high 25 points as Koranga dropped 24 points, her highest at the zonal qualifiers.

Mercy Wanyama was the third-highest scorer for Kenya with 17 points as Melisa and Natalie Akinyi scored 15 and 12 points respectively.

 Rose Ouma and Brenda Wasuda also got to the score sheet with four and two points respectively.

Kenya Lioness players celebrate after qualifying for Afrobasket. [Courtesy]

Egypt star center El Gedawy finished with 17 points in the loss.

Kenya lead through the first quarter 29-24, taking a five-point advantage into the second quarter which they dominated again for a narrow eight-point lead at the break with Egypt trailing 42-50.

In the third quarter, the Lioness maintained their eight-point lead by outscoring the defending champions 77-69.

Egypt attempted to repeat the final comeback fight they initiated during the group match but Kenya would eventually seal the win with a dominant defensive and offensive plays that saw them seal a historic 99-83 win over the tournament favorites.

Kenya will now make their sixth appearance at the Afrobasket after previously racing the 2019, 2013, 2007, 1997 and 1986.

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