• Apart from Khaemba, two new faces also made the team including guard Victor Odendo and centre Fidel Okoth.
• Captain Griffin Ligare said despite the short training, the team is prepared for the challenge ahead.
Ulinzi Warriors’ Joseph Khaemba replaced his team-mate Victor Bosire in the last minute changes as the national men’s basketball team departed to Bamako, Mali yesterday morning.
The tactician Cliff Owuor, who will join the team tomorrow, said he had no option but to replace Bosire who could not travel due to personal commitment.
“ I learnt late that Bosire was unable to travel with the team so I quickly went for Khaemba. There should be no panic as the squad is solid.” Owuor said.
Apart from Khaemba, two new faces also made the team including guard Victor Odendo and centre Fidel Okoth. “There is not much difference between this team and the one that did duty in Kampala. This team is slightly better and will make an impact,” said Owuor.
He said he has gotten some tips on DR Congo from his former player in the Rwandese side, APR and is optimistic of success. Kenya will play in Group ‘B’ alongside Nigeria and DR Congo. A total of 12 teams will feature in the 10-day tournament starting tomorrow.
Captain Griffin Ligare said despite the short training, the team is prepared for the challenge ahead. “ We are all set. Our only worry if any, is the short training stint we had since coming back home from Kampala.”
“The three new players named to the team will definitely bring something because they have all been to the side before,” he disclosed. Defensive lynchpin Odendo, back after injury forced him out of the game for over two months, said: “The team is good and the morale is sky high.”
Those who made the cut are—Griffin Ligare, Eric Mutoro, Victor Odendo, Joseph Khaemba, Faheem Juma, Arial Okal. Fidel Okoth, Valentine Nyakinda, Tyler Okari, Ronny Gundo, Desmond Owili and Bush Wamukota.
Officials are—Joseph Amoko (team manager) Carey Okech (assistant coach) and Eric Omondi (referee).
Elsewhere, Kenya College of Accountancy (KCA) University are eyeing four wins if they are to avoid relegation at the end of the season.
A concerned coach Charles ‘Ghost’ Goro said following a 68-63 defeat to champions Kenya Ports Authority over the weekend.
“They beat us hands down on fast breaks. My boys were just escorting them to the basket but when I switched Victor Murage to play one man, things got better,” Goro noted.
KCA, who are lying in the eighth position with 18 points, trailed 17-19 and 15-9 in the opening two quarters. The students got their acts together after the break taking the last two quarters 18-7 and 26-19.
“There are no easy games in this league. But our performance in the last two quarters is an indication that we can post good results and meet our target,” he said. Goro is worried about the big drop and said he will have to push his boys during every training session so that they make the playoffs.
“Despite the fact that we have lost some hard games, making the playoffs even as a last team remains my main focus and I am sure we will achieve this,” he said