Wounded Morans target Nigeria scalp in today’s Afrobasket encounter

Friday, August 27th, 2021 02:00 |
Kenyan Men’s National Basketball team head coach Liz Mills (left) talks with the national team after the training session at the Nyayo national stadium gymnasium in Nairobi on August 20, 2021. Photo/AFP

Wounded Kenya Morans will step up to the Kigali Basketball Arena today at 4 pm with the sole aim of taking down the continent’s heavyweights Nigeria in a bid to bounce back from their Afrobasket opening match defeat to Ivory Coast on Wednesday night.

Morans while making a return to Africa’s biggest basketball showpiece after 28 years of trying to qualify, impressed in their debut despite going down 88-70 to the tournament’s five-time champions Ivory Coast, and head coach Liz Mills has made it clear that Kenya is not backing down despite the opening setback.

She said that even though their initial plan was to start the tournament in high gear, her charges display against Cote d’Ivoire was encouraging, adding that their next plan is to come stronger in their remaining two group fixtures as they seek to win their first match in the competition.

“Oh, look, we were all very excited and happy to be back (to Africa Afrobasket Championship) after 28 years,” coach Liz Mills said in a post-match interview after being asked what was the feeling in camp before the games tipped off.

“Now our goal is to win Kenya’s first match in the Afrobasket. They (Kenya) have made three appearances in the tournament, and we were hoping to change that, but it did not go the way we wanted to started the tournament even though we played the first 35 minutes of great basketball, but the last five minutes kind of let us down a bit, but we’re really looking forward to our next games against Nigeria and Mali,” coach Liz said.

Kenya Morans will, therefore, need to dig deep and be at the best form ever to fancy for a win against Nigeria who is ranked first in Africa, and rated as the tournament’s favourites, alongside Senegal and the tournament’s 11-time champions Angola.

“I think it’s all about us turning up that defense and be able to hold that pressure in our next game.

Against Cote d’Ivoire, I think they didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves. So, even though I’ve not had the opportunity to watch Nigeria play but what I can say is that we are ready for them,” said Mills.

More on Sports