The national men’s basketball team ‘The Morans’ head coach Cliff Owuor says their 79-62 win against Mozambique in their last match at the ongoing FIBA Afrobasketball qualifiers in Kigali Rwanda helps the team build momentum ahead of the next round of qualifiers .
‘’At least we can breathe and give ourselves a chance to regroup and focus on the games in February. we had a lot of struggles some good players were not cleared as such while some of them had little documentation issues with covid19 also making our plan hectic. This win was really crucial for us to have a chance of qualifying for the finals so its really good for us’’, Head coach Cliff Owuor said in a post match interview.
Griffin Ligare who was key in Kenya’s win and had missed the opening two games believes that the team has an opportunity for making it to the Kigali 2021 finals.
‘’Not playing the first two games was the most painful part I had to go through. Getting a chance to play today was like getting another chance of life. my job was to keep the guys together and make sure that we stay focused’’, Ligare said.
Kenya beat Mozambique to wind up the prequalifiers campaign on a redemptive note having lost the two opening encounters against Senegal and Angola.
Requiring a win to progress to the sec0ond round of qualifiers Kenya pegged down Mozambique in the opening minutes with the two teams tying 19-19 in the first quarter.
Mozambique regular campaigners at the afrobasketball championship regrouped in the second quarter and snatched a 17-14 win But Kenya under the tutelage of Cliff Owuor won the third quarter 23-17 before sealing the match in the final quarter with a 23-14 win.
Tyler Okari was Kenya’s top marksman scoring 21 points while Valentine Nyakinda came in second with 16 points as team captain Erick Mutoro finished as Moran’s third highest scorer with 15 points.
Kenya’s focus now switches to the forthcoming second round of qualifiers scheduled February 2022 where Moran’s will face the same opponents they faced in Kigali.
Top three teams from each group will qualify for the FIBA Afro basketball championship set for Kigali Rwanda in 2021.