Debutant Derrick Ogechi dropped 19 points and eight rebounds to inspire Kenya Morans to an important 62-52 win over Cote d'Ivoire in their opening 2023 FIBA AfroCan Group A match played at the Kilamba Arena in Luanda, Angola on Saturday.
The Midwestern State University point guard made three 3-pointers out of eight attempts, four two pointers and two free throws to guide Morans past the West Africans.
Griffin Ligare followed with 13 points as Tom Bush Wamukota command the rim with a huge 19 rebounds and eight points.
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League champion and Most Valuable Player Eugene Adera who was also making his international debut scored eight points and five rebounds as Fidel Okoth added four points while Bryan Sivachi Makutwa and Eric Mutoro bagged three points each.
Morans led the first quarter 15-10 before taking a seven point half time lead after a 19-17 second quarter performance saw them lead 34-27.
In the final half, Morans were forced to a 15-15 tie by the end of the third quarter but they would close the game with a 13-10 final quarter show to win 62-52.
Kenya now leads Group A with two points ahead of their second and final pool match against Gabon on Monday from 12.30pm Kenyan time.
Ulrich Mohamed Kra was Cote d'Ivoire’s top scorer with 14 points followed by Yacouba Sanogo who sunk 13 points.