•Kenya upset Egypt 99-83 to win the six day four team tournament to book the sole ticket to the continental championships that is slated for September 17-24.
•Only Kenya,Egypt, Rwanda, and debutants South Sudan made it to Kigali after Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Eritrea, and Ethiopia withdrew at the last minute.
Kenya Lionesses head coach George Mayienga says the team will need to start training early to form the required chemistry ahead of the Fiba Africa Women’s 2021 championships in Yaounde, Cameroon in September.
The Uganda-based tactician, handling the national side for the first time, pointed out that the Zone Five Championships was a tough outing.
Only Kenya, Egypt, Rwanda and debutants South Sudan made it to Kigali after Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Eritrea and Ethiopia withdrew at the last minute.
“Playing three teams twice during the tournament was a challenge but I am proud of these girls. The championships was tough but through hard work, the girls managed,” said Mayienga.
Kenya upset Egypt 99-83 to win the six-day tournament to book the sole ticket to the continental championships slated for September 17-24.
In their earlier meeting, Egypt won 107-106.
Assistant coach Mike Opel added: “There is no time to rest. We celebrate here now but when we get home, it is back to work.”
He noted that there is a lot to work on ahead of AfroBasket.
However, USA-based Victoria Reynolds, the Zone Five Most Valuable Player said they are ready for Cameroon.
“We are just ready for Cameroon. You shouldn’t doubt us. We will make you proud in Cameroon,” said Reynolds, who scored game-high 25 points and had six assists and five rebounds.
Mercy Wanyama, who plies her trade in Spain and was also crucial in the win with 17 points and 15 rebounds, chipped in: “We have stuck together as a team and this win will really motivate us to keep pushing as we go to Cameron.”
She said the Lionesses have only one mission; to conquer Africa.
"This is achievable if we can get enough friendly matches," she said.
Hosts Rwanda dismissed newbies South Sudan 83-56 to finish third.
The losers, who arrived in Kigali from their training base in Sacramento, USAl, lost all their matches.
Joining Kenya in the continent's flagship tournament are reigning champions Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Mozambique, Cape Verde and hosts Cameroon.