• As it stands, Kenya’s only hope for international basketball remains the 3x3 Olympic Qualifiers since the loss to Egypt knocked Lionesses out of the FIBA AfroBasket and the All Africa Games.
• Kenya started their campaign with a 61-53 win over Uganda, hit South Sudan 80-51 and Rwanda 69-58 respectively before falling to Egypt in the last of their round robin matches.
The Kenya Basketball Federation are pursuing a wild card to the AfroBasket after their quest was halted by a 82-57 defeat to Egypt in the Zone Five Qualifiers in Kampala over the weekend.
KBF assistant secretary Angela Luchivya revealed that they are in talks with FIBA Africa to see if Kenya can get a wild card to the 2023 AfroBasket in Kigali, Rwanda in July.
“Since Rwanda will be hosting the AfroBasket, we hope that we can get a slot as the second team from the Zone. But this will also depend on if there are entries from other zones,” said Luchivya, who headed the delegation in Kampala.
She said Kenya is also pushing to host the Under-16 tournament and the FIBA Africa Women Club Championships later this year.
As it stands, Kenya’s only hope for international basketball remains the 3x3 Olympic Qualifiers since the loss to Egypt knocked Lionesses out of the FIBA AfroBasket and the All Africa Games.
“The talks are encouraging and we will continue to push. The 3x3 team will be involved in some series where they will have the opportunity to qualify,” said Luchivya.
Kenya started their campaign with a 61-53 win over Uganda, hit South Sudan 80-51 and Rwanda 69-58 respectively before falling to Egypt in the last of their round robin matches.
Head coach George Mayienga said Egypt were the hungrier of the two teams in that make-or-break fixture.
“They came to revenge the loss in Kigali two years ago. From the start, they showed they really wanted this win more. They stayed to watch our game against South Sudan and seemed to have picked some vital tips,” said Mayienga.
“They knew our plays and from the start, gave the dangerous Vicky (Reynolds) no room at all while at the same time kept Medina Okot out of the paint.”
“They kept rotating their defence on Vicky and each and every time we closed in on them, they called a time out to fix the problem. It was a bit hard on my girls,” he added.
Lionesses, he said, committed many turn overs and seemed to have no heart to turn the tables.
“When we scored, we found them already waiting for us at half court. They were aggressive, were good ball-handlers and were also too fast for us,” said Mayienga.”
“They marked out Medina and Mercy inside and kept us out of our shooting range and when Vicky an Mercy (Wanyama) tried to drive, they closed them out as they played match-up most of the time.”
At the 2021 regional qualifiers in Kigali, Egypt beat Kenya 107-106 in the opener before the Kenyans revenged the loss in the final game winning 99-83.
Rankings from Kampala saw Egypt top the five-team tournament as hosts Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Rwanda followed in that order.