Kenya seals wild card ticket to continental women's AfroBasket C'ships in Senegal

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-02 19:53:18|Editor: ZX
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NAIROBI, July 2 (Xinhua) -- The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Africa has handed the Kenyan women's team a wild card to compete at the AfroBasket Championships set to be held in Senegal from Aug. 9-18.

Egypt had dismissed Kenya 90-72 in the finals of the regional tournament played in Kampala, Uganda to earn the Zone Five ticket to the continental championships.

However, FIBA Africa, the continent's basketball governing body, has handed Kenya a lifeline by offering it a wild card.

Kenya will, however, miss out competing at the African Games in Rabat, Morocco, with Egypt claiming the Zone Five ticket as the reigning champions. It is a major blow for the country to return to the games having last competed in 2011.

Kenya's head coach Ronnie Owino said his team need to redraw their plans after the poor show in Kampala and hopes they have learnt their mistakes and will be up for the challenge in Senegal next month.

"We just played badly against Egypt and the players lacked the morale and psyche. Egypt deserved the victory because they were hungrier," said Owino on Tuesday in Nairobi.

It was not a surprising result given that Egypt, the only unbeaten side in this entire championships so far, had beaten the Kenyan 86-82 in the opening match.

It was a bad day for the Kenyans, who failed to click in all the four quarters as the marauding Pharaohs took control from the tip off leading 22-18 in the first quarter, 44-33 at the break and 72-63 at the end of the third taking the game beyond reach of Kenyans.

Egypt and Kenya from Zone Five will join the African champions Nigeria, runners up and hosts Senegal, Mali, Mozambique, Zone Two champions Cape Verde, Zone Four winners Cameroon and Angola who were crowned Zone Six champions last week for this year's FIBA Women's AfroBasket.

After a total of five appearances at the FIBA Women's AfroBasket, Kenya is among the only 12 countries to have played at this level five or more times, but it has also been six years since they last played on the big stage.