•Head coach Cliff Owuor yesterday confirmed that Awich, who turns out for French side Dax Gamade, can’t make it due to visa and Covid-19 restrictions.
•Awich is one of the diaspora-based players Owuor was banking on in Kenya’s quest to return to Afro-Basket for the first time in 27 years.
France-based centre/forward Joel Awich will not make it for next week’s Fiba Afro-Basket qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda.
Head coach Cliff Owuor yesterday confirmed that Awich, who turns out for French side Dax Gamade, can’t make it due to visa and Covid-19 restrictions.
“Awich talked to me yesterday and said he is not able to make it. But he assured me that he will be available during the February window,” said Owuor
Awich is one of the diaspora-based players Owuor was banking on in Kenya’s quest to return to Afro-Basket for the first time in 27 years.
USA-based forward Robert Nyakundi was the first player to pull out of the team last month due to personal commitments thus reducing Owuor’s options.
“The fact that Awich can't make it for the championships has now reduced the number of diaspora players I was relying on. His presence at the centre would have been key,” Owuor said.
Ariel Okal from Algeria and Australia-based star Preston Bungei are the first diaspora players to arrive home and are currently training with the side.
Owuor said USA-based Ronny Gundo was due to arrive home yesterday. Desmond Owili from Australia and Tom Wamukota from Rwanda are also expected.
Tyler Ongwae who plays in Denmark is expected to join the team next week before they depart for the Kigali show. “I have talked to Tyler and he will be coming to join the rest next week. He will now not fly to Kigali direct as we had planned,” revealed Owuor.
He said the team has now moved into residential camp in Nairobi West and will up their daily training to twice a day.
“Now that we are together in camp, we will be training twice a day with the morning session starting as early as 6:30 am,” the tactician said.
The local-based players are progressing well with training with Faheem Juma and Fidel Okoth putting up impressive displays.
Kenya will face off with Senegal, Angola and Mozambique in Group ‘B’ of the three-team tournament that tips off at Kigali Arena from November 25-29.
Meanwhile, Strategic Management Consultant and sports enthusiast Eliud Owallo paid a courtesy call on the team.
He boosted the morale in the camp when he donated two sets of playing kit to the Morans at their training base at Nyayo Stadium gymnasium. This gesture, he pointed out, will support the requisite logistical arrangements for the team as they continue with their daily sessions.
He appealed to the corporate sector and other relevant stakeholders to give the Morans material and logistical support.
Owallo had also hosted the team to a luncheon at a Nairobi hotel in August, where he urged them to work hard and aim at making it to the World Championships.