No more games!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Kenya Morans play South Sudan in Nairobi in January 2020. Photo/SPORTS AFRICA

William Mutio

National men’s basketball side, Kenya Morans, have nine days to prepare for their first match in the second Fiba AfroBasket Qualifiers set for Cameroon from February 17 to 21.

 With just one win away from making a return to the biennial championship after more than 27 years, Morans will have a two-day rest when action begins before taking on Group B leaders Senegal on February 19. Angola will be up next for the homeboys on February 20 with the final duel against Mozambique scheduled for the last day of competition.

 Morans’ preparations were boosted by the arrival of analytics and film-breakdown expert, Australian tactician Liz Mills, two weeks ago.

Her addition to the technical bench, that also has assistant coach Sadat Gaya, is expected to increase Kenya’s chances of qualifying for the continental showpiece.

 “Coach Mills has brought in her expertise which is helping immensely in our training sessions.

We are working on our shooting which was a major undoing in the November window losses, half-court offense, transition, and execution of plays,” said Gaya.

 Former head coach Cliff Owuor will not be available for the February window of the qualifiers.

The former United States International University (USIU) coach cited commitments at his new job with Rwanda’s APR for the exit from Morans.

  Rwandese media have reported that Owuor agreed to a two-season contract with the army side that will see him stick with the club until the end of the 2023 season.

 Meanwhile, Morans’ technical bench is expecting the arrival of Denmark-based duo of Tyler Ongwae and Preston Bungei as well as France-based Joel Awich.

Bungei and Awich will be making their debut for Morans even though the former was part of the squad that did duty in the first window in Rwanda but was not cleared to play.

 Kenya lost 92-54 to Senegal in the first window.  Morans held the group leaders to a 19-all draw in the first quarter before losing 28-14 in the second quarter. 

Against Angola, Kenya trailed by 14 points on the break and extended the gap to 30 points at the end of the third period.

With the win secured, the 11-time Afrobasket title holders had the luxury of letting Morans run the scores for 28 points against 15 but it was too little too late for Morans.

 Morans recovered from a three-point trail at the half-time mark in their do-or-die clash against Mozambique to score 23 points in both quarters of the second half against the opponent’s 12 and 14 for a 79-62 win.

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