Kenya Morans power forward Ariel Okal remains optimistic that the national men’s basketball team has what it takes to defy all odds and seal a place at the 2023 World Cup in Philippines.
Kenya will renew their rivalry with Senegal once again this year after both were pooled alongside Egypt and Democratic Republic of Congo in Group D of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and Okal is optimistic the Liz Mills charges can pull through ahead of tough assignment.
“During AfroBasket qualifiers almost everyone wrote us off but we made it. Basketball is funny and it depends with how you wake up.We have been pooled together with the familiar sides we have played before so anything is possible. We will do our best to make the country proud” said the Kenyan International star.
Kenya qualified for the World Cup qualifiers by virtue of playing at the just concluded AfroBasket Championship in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Australian coach says she is open to bringing in new talents to strengthen the team ahead of the showpiece.
She said that Kenya is targeting three wins to advance to the World Cup. All the 16 nations at the AfroBasket qualified for the World Cup qualifiers
“There are a couple of players who are ready to hang up their boots after doing an amazing service to the Kenyan basketball. As long as we keep them in the basketball field as coaches, mentors and administrators, I think that is important,” said Mills
Kenya returned to the Fiba Afrobasket Championship after 28 years and left with one win and three losses. They were edged out at the quarterfinal qualifier stage by South Sudan after a 60-58 loss.
FIBA awarded hosting rights for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 to Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines in December 2017. The Group Phase will take place in all three countries, with the Final Phase to follow in the Philippine capital city of Manila.
African has been given five slots at the global event, which will be staged in 2023.