• Eugene Adera, the Kenya Basketball Federation league Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Griffin Ligare came off the bench to provide the much needed spark.
• Morans edged out their opponents in the second quarter 19-17 to take a commanding 34-27 lead at halftime.
Kenya Morans got their FIBA AfroCan campaign off to a flying start when they defeated Cote d'Ivoire 62-52 in their Group 'A' match played at the Kilamba Arena, Luanda, Angola on Saturday.
Head coach Cliff Owuor started the quintet of Victor Bosire, US-based Derrick Ogechi, Fidel Okoth, Eric Mutoro and Tom Wamukota and the team did not disappoint.
Morans, silver medalist in the last tournament in Bamako, Mali, four years ago, made it 4-0 in the opening quarter, even before their opponents had settled.
The Ivoirians then put their points on board and took a 5-4 surprise lead that was short-lived.
Morans controlled proceedings, regaining the lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the match.
Eugene Adera, the Kenya Basketball Federation league Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Griffin Ligare came off the bench to provide the much needed spark.
Adera, given the play makers role, was superb on the ball. Kenya took the first quarter lead of 15-10. Morans edged out their opponents in the second quarter 19-17 to take a commanding 34-27 lead at halftime.
After intermission, the Ivorians battled to a 15-15 deadlock at the end of the third quarter. Kenya held on their nerves to prevail 13-10 in the final quarter.
It was a remarkable debut for Ogechi who sank 19 points and hauled eight rebounds.
Ligare dropped 13 while Wamukota was a tower of power on the boards with 19 rebounds.
Cote d’Ivoire were led by Ulrich Mohamed Kra who grabbed his teams' 14 points while Yacouba Sanogo registered 13 in a losing effort.
The other three matches on card on the first day of action will see host Angola welcome home Mali, reigning champions DR Congo take on Cameroon while Rwanda confront Tunisia.
Ivory Coast play Gabon on Sunday while Kenya will have a break before meeting the Gabonese a day later.