• Morans will now play Group ‘B’ runners-up — either home side Angola or Nigeria.
• Ogechi, who led Kenya with 19 points in the win against Ivory Coast, was again at it... leading the charge with 16 points while pulling down seven rebounds.
Kenya Morans went down 66-63 to Gabon but still romped to the FIBA AfroCan quarterfinals as Group ‘A’ leaders at the Pavilhao Multiusos de Luanda arena, Angola, on Monday.
The result saw Kenyans head their group with the three teams winning one game each. Kenya beat Ivory Coast 62-52 in the opener but the Ivorians recovered to hit Gabon 66-52. Kenya has 125 points with the other two on 118 each.
Group winners advance directly to the quarterfinals while teams ranked second and third will compete in a qualifying round for the quarter-finals in knockout matches. The quarters start on Thursday.
Morans will now play Group ‘B’ runners-up — either home side Angola or Nigeria. The two teams who were due to play latter in the day, had both beaten Mali to third.
Gabon started off well as both teams tied 5-5- and 7-7 early before a Fidel Okoth basket have Kenya a 9-7 edge. A Derrick Ogechi trey saw Kenya up 12-7 but Gabon rallied before trailing 16-14 at the end of the first stanza.
The second quarter was again a close call as Gabon shook Kenya’s three-point lead by closing in 18-17 before a Eugene Adera’s five straight points gave the Kenyans a 25-20 cushion midway through the stanza.
Gabon wouldn’t go away as a three-pointer had them trailing by two points, 27-29, but again Kenya slipped away to take a 32-27 half time advantage.
After intermission, Gabon refused to be cowed despite trailing 35-27. They regrouped, catching Kenya cold with baskets and only trailed 36-37 mid way through the third quarter.
Gabon then broke away after a 61-61 deadlock on a three pointer by Lerry Rostand with 2:47 left on the game clock that had the scores 64-61. Despite a concerted effort by Kenya, the final horn sounded ending the tie.
Ogechi, who led Kenya with 19 points in the win against Ivory Coast, was again at it... leading the charge with 16 points while pulling down seven rebounds.
Adera nailed 12 with just the two of them hitting double figures for Morans.
Sunday results saw Cameroon go down 71-65 to Mozambique, Mali lost 62-56 to Nigeria, Morocco dimmed Rwanda 59-58 and Ivory Coast hit Gabon 66-52.