• The Kenyans threw in the towel in a frantically fought deciding quarter as Egypt showed championship spirits, swarming them to turn a sure defeat into sweet victory.
• When the exiting veteran Souraya Degheidy and Norhan Ahmed started to exert pressure, Kenya faltered. With 5:00 to play, Egypt were trailing 92-89.
Kenya Lionesses suffered a heart breaking 107-106 loss to Egypt in a high-scoring 2021 FIBA Africa Women's Zone Five qualifier in Kigali on Wednesday.
The Kenyans threw in the towel in a frantically fought deciding quarter as Egypt showed championship spirits, swarming them to turn a sure defeat into sweet victory.
When the exiting veteran Souraya Degheidy and Norhan Ahmed started to exert pressure, Kenya faltered. With 5:00 to play, Egypt were trailing 92-89.
A last-gasp baseline three by captain Rose Ouma gave Kenya some hopes with the scores at 106-107 but the winners intelligently ran out the clock to carry the day.
The result means Kenya, who also lost 77-45 to Rwanda, will finish third. The hosts were due to play winless South Sudan later today.
Kenya had roared off to a bright start on a basket by Felmas Koranga as the back court pair of Victoria Reynolds and Natalie Akinyi also went to work early.
The duo were menacing, burying shot after shot upon Egypt's bewildered heads for a deserved 11-2 cushion.
Akinyi's three-pointer followed by two more baskets gave Kenya a double digit lead of 21-11 and 32-11 at the end of the quarter.
Efforts by Souraya, captain Hagar Ahmed, Nohan, Frida Abdelnabi and Meral Abdelawad to stem the tide proved fruitless.
Velma Owino came off the bench to pile more misery on Egypt and Ouma hit a three for a 40-13 lead as Egypt coach Ehab Elfy called for a time out.
But Kenya continued to torment them and a signature move by Melissa Akinyi and Mercy Wanyama saw the East Africans up 66-41 at the breather.
In the third quarter, it was punch for punch as Egypt raced against time to cut the deficit and they did well to close in 84-72 at the sound of the horn. But things took a dramatic change in the last quarter. Egypt threw everything to salvage the game. They pressed and they swarmed and it paid huge dividends.
Reynolds led Lionesses charge with 20 points, Koranga managed and Wanyama 19. Egypt took the last quarter 35-2.
Thursday is a rest day with the team's returning to battle in the semi finals on Friday, in the hunt for the sole ticket to FIBA AfroBaket in Cameroon.