Gundo boost for hungry Morans ahead of Afrobasket qualifiers

National basketball team Morans forward Ronnie Gundo trains at Nyayo National Stadium indoor gymnasium on November 19, 2020 for Fiba Afrobasket qualifiers to be held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The 6ft 8 in Gundo who plies his trade with Trapa Palencia is expected to play a crucial role in Morans qualification process
  • Australia-based Desmond Owili is expected in the country on Friday while Tylor Okari who is based in Denmark arrives on Saturday, just a day before the team leaves for Rwanda
  • Owuor revealed that Preston Bungei who arrived in the country last week had adopted well and will add the much needed depth

Spain-based Ronnie Gundo has finally linked up with national men's basketball team, Morans ahead of Fiba Afrobasket qualifiers championships set for Kigali, Rwanda next week.

The 6ft 8 in forward who plies his trade with Trapa Palencia is expected to play a crucial role in Morans qualification process if his performance at the Afrocan qualifiers in Uganda where Kenya emerged victors is anything to go by.

Australia-based Desmond Owili is expected in the country on Friday while Tylor Okari who is based in Denmark arrives on Saturday, just a day before the team leaves for Rwanda.

Big motivation

France-based Joel Awich will however not be coming after all due to visa complications.

"We have been making progress everyday in training and the arrival of our foreign based players will motivate the team more ahead of our opening match against Senegal on Wednesday," Owuor said on Thursday.

National basketball team Morans forward Ronnie Gundo trains at Nyayo National Stadium indoor gymnasium on November 19, 2020 for Fiba Afrobasket qualifiers to be held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Owuor revealed that Preston Bungei who arrived in the country last week had adopted well and will add the much needed depth as Kenya seeks to book at least one of the three tickets available from Group 'B' which also has Angola, Senegal and Mozambique.

The team started residential training last Monday after Ministry of Sports dug deep into their coffers to ensure the team travels to Rwanda for the championships.

Speaking in Mombasa at the weekend, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed assured Morans that they will be in Rwanda for the championships  despite the shortage of funds at the ministry.

National basketball team Morans forward Ronnie Gundo trains at Nyayo National Stadium indoor gymnasium on November 19, 2020 for Fiba Afrobasket qualifiers to be held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

“We know the importance of the championships as a ministry and are doing everything possible to pull resources to ensure the players will be in Rwanda in time for the championships,” Amina said.

Owuor Thursday said he was happy with the player’s response to training and has vowed to tame favourites Senegal and Angola who have both been African champions before.

Kigali bubble

Angola, Kenya’s other group 'B' opponents, have been in residential training in Portugal from where they are expected to fly straight to Rwanda.

Angola head coach Will Voigt said he had called up mainly experienced local and foreign based players for the Lisbon camp which has now lasted two months.

Meanwhile Fiba Africa have congested groups in a bubble in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Group 'A' which has defending champions Tunisia, Central Africa Republic, Madagascar and DRC Congo, Group 'B' which has Kenya, Senegal, Angola and Mozambique and Group 'C' which has hosts Rwanda, Nigeria, Mali and Algeria will converge in Rwanda for their qualifiers while Group 'E' which has Egypt, Morroco, Uganda and Cape Verde will play in Egypt.

Group 'C' teams Cote D'Ivoire, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea have qualified for the Afrobasket finals set for next year after holding their qualifiers in February, just before coronavirus struck.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.