•It was sweet revenge for the North Africans, who suffered a 96-66 thumping at the hands of Morans in the semi-finals in Bamako, Mali in 2019.
•Morocco took the first 17-10 and were up 17-12 in the second for a 34-22 advantage heading into the break.
Kenya Morans were bundled out of the FIBA Afro-Can after falling 55-46 to Morocco at the Pavilhao Multiusos de Luanda Arena in Angola on Thursday.
It was sweet revenge for the North Africans, who suffered a 96-66 thumping at the hands of Morans in the semi-finals in Bamako, Mali in 2019.
This saw Kenya bag silver after losing 82-61 to champions Democratic Republic of Congo while Morocco lost the bronze medal game 88-71 to Angola.
In Thursday's match, Morocco led on all fronts, taking all four quarters. They took the first 17-10 and were up 17-12 in the second for a 34-22 advantage heading into the break.
Kenya dug deep to turn the tables in the third quarter with a strong 25-9 charge before they again became a cropper in the deciding stanza.
Down 39-45 in the waning minutes, Derick Ogechi's three-pointer brought them close to within three points. But they couldn't sustain the Moroccan offensive onslaught.
At this juncture, Morocco had the game and the ball in the hands of the exiting playmaker Kevin Franchesci who dictated their offense.
He drove for a basket, was fouled, and completed a three-point play for a 47-42 edge. Kenya again closed in 50-48 but this was as close as they could get.
Kenya were toothless on offense. Only guard Eric Mutoro notched double-digit scores in the loss. He picked up the Kenyans' 10 points.
Franschesci registered 13 points and spend the last minute on the free throw line, where he crowned the win with two foul shots. Jihad Brenchilkha had 14 and Mohamed Chokia 10.
Kenya's success four years ago also included 85-83 and 82-76 victories over Tunisia over time and Cote d’Ivoire 85-83 on a last gasp buzzer beater. Kenya reached the semis by topping Group 'A' after beating Ivory Coast 62-52 before going down 66-63 to Gabon in their second group phase game.
Morocco, who were second in Group C with one win, made it to the quarters with a convincing 78-50 triumph over a sad Cameroon outfit. They will face the winners of DR Congo vs Nigeria match.
Kenya’s Kipchoge improved his own world record by half a minute to record an impressive 2:01:09 when winning last year’s Berlin Marathon. That followed his previous victories secured in the German capital in 2015, 2017, and 2018, the latter in the then-world record of 2:01:39.
Among Kipchoge’s challengers will be his compatriot Amos Kipruto, who is the 2019 world bronze medallist and last year’s winner of the London Marathon. He has a personal best of 2:03:13 posted while finishing second to Kipchoge in last year’s Tokyo Marathon.
The pair have so far clashed three times in the 42km race— once in Berlin, where Kipruto finished second in 2:06:23 behind Kipchoge’s world record run in 2018; once in Tokyo last year, where Kipchoge won in 2:02:40; and once at the Olympic Games in Japan, where Kipchoge won and Kipruto did not finish.