Kenya teams face stiff challenge in basketball Africa Games qualifiers

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-09 03:37:56|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Only seven out of 11 teams have confirmed participation in Zone Five Africa Games basketball qualifiers, which will be held in Kampala, Uganda in June.

Champions Egypt, Kenya, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda will be the team to contest the weeklong tournament in which the winner will secure the sole qualification slot available for the men's and women's competition in Rabat, Morocco.

Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Djibouti have opted not to send teams to Uganda for the qualifiers.

Kenyan men's team head coach Cliff Owuor is optimistic Kenya will sail through the tough qualifiers and return to the continental games.

"We have a strong team, capable of beating any other side. There are a few players in foreign leagues and we will recall them to boost our team," said the coach on Wednesday.

Kenya is currently ranked 22nd in Africa and only the best seven teams will join host Morocco in the Africa Games, which will be held in Rabat from August 19-31.

"We shall be ready before the Africa Games qualifiers. I want the team to scale to top 10 positions in Africa by the end of next year," said Owuor.

The coach has called four foreign-based players to the squad led by United States based Ronnie Gundo and Bush Wamukota, Sweden-based Taylor Okari and Australia-based Desmond Owili.

The women's team will be coached by Ronnie Owino. The coach has expressed his concern over lack of friendly matches to gauge the preparedness of the side.

"We lack height in the squad and we need tall players to and that is why I have recalled players aboard to the squad. They are Felmas Adhiambo, who plays in the United States, and Seychelles-based Vilma Achieng," he said.