Despite being kicked out of Fiba AfroBasket early, coach Mayienga believes he has an improved side
Kenya national women’s basketball team, Lionesses, might have been bundled out of the 27th edition of the biennial Fiba Women’s Afrobasket tournament in Cameroon last week, but head coach George Mayienga is not disappointed with their performance in the competition.
Mayienga said that Kenya took a much less experienced side to the tournament and despite featuring in the championship for the first time, the girls did their best and he is confident that going by their game, he is certain of greater things ahead.
Kenya won one match against Cape Verde (61-58) but lost two others against hosts Cameroon (74-50) and experienced Mozambique (72-50) to exit the competition in the pre-quarterfinal playoff.
“We played pretty well and made a statement that the Lionesses are no longer pushovers in the continental championship.
Even though we have been eliminated, we have drawn a lot of lessons, and it has, therefore, been a wonderful experience for us as a team.
It’s a rebuilding team, a new team both for the players and the technical bench. Most of the players in the team were featured in the tournament for the first time.
So, I want to thank our fellow Kenyans for your unwavering support, and promise you that good things are coming,” Mayienga said after the Mozambique match.
“Looking at how we have played, I think now no one can take Kenya Lionesses for granted. Yes, we have bid goodbye to the competition but honestly, it has been a great learning experience for most of us who were coming to this tournament for the very first time.
No team is easy, we played our hearts out and we, therefore, take the lessons and not the losses,” Melissa Otieno who top-scored for Lionesses in the match against Mozambique said in a post-match press conference.
American-born Kenya international Victoria Reynolds, who had to postpone her Master’s classes in the US to play for the national team, was very instrumental in the side despite debuting in the tournament.