• The national side jetted off to West Africa in batches with the first group of seven departing at 5 am yesterday.
• Coach says he will have to use four post players instead of six against some of tournament best players due to inability by KBF to secure 12 tickets.
KENYA Lionesses open their FIBA Women’s Afro-basket 2019 in Dakar, Senegal with a tight game against favourites Mozambique tomorrow.
The national side jetted off to West Africa in batches with the first group of seven departing at 5 am yesterday.
Veteran tactician Ronny Owino will use a roster of only 10 players in one of the continent’s toughest women competitions. He will also be without his assistant Everlyne Kedogo who remained behind.
After Mozambique, Kenya will face off against Cape Verde on Sunday before taking a break as Mozambique battle Cape Verde. The top team will move to the next round.
Owino said he will have to use four post players instead of six against some of tournament best players due to inability by Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) to secure 12 tickets.
“I had planned for six post players for proper rotation but I will now have to change my tactics since I have only four at my disposal. It will be demanding but we will give it our best shot,” said Owino before he left.
Owino said he will miss the services of US-based Felmas Koranga, Purity Odhiambo who trained for a few days before leaving for Bangladesh and Seline Okumu, who pulled out two days ago due to work-related issues.
“Operating without your Most Valuable Players in a tournament of this magnitude will be a huge task. But this is the situation and we will make the best out of a bad situation. It will be tough,” noted Owino.
He said the training had been dogged by players coming in and out but the work out was good and that there were remarkable improvement improvements.
“Vilma was down in Kampala qualifiers but she pulled up well and so was Belinda whom I dropped because she was not up to the task but has worked really hard to make the Dakar team. A coach can not drop a player unfairly because he also wants to win,” he said.
Team : Samba Mjomba, Debrah Atieno, Georgia Adhiambo, Betty Kananu, Hilda Luvandwa, Anne Rose Mandela (guards); Mercy Wanyama, Silalei Shani, Vilma Achieng and Belinda Okoth (post players).