What you need to know:
- Kenya among 16 teams that will play in Africa’s premier national team tourney.
- Group E matches yet to be decided.
In Yaounde, Cameroon
After a shock 74-73 loss to Kenya Morans, African giants Angola vented their anger on Senegal in their last Group B match to win 82-51 as the second and final round of the 2021 Fiba AfroBasket qualifiers concluded here on Sunday.
Although the win did not change Group ‘B’ standing, it meant that Senegal does not feature among the top six countries which went unbeaten after the six rounds of matches played here and Monastir, Tunisia.
Senegal remained top of Group B with 11 points and a win ratio of 5-2 , followed by Angola on 10 points and a 4-2 win ratio. Kenya finished third with seven points and a win ratio of 2-4 while Mozambique finished bottom.
Only Tunisia, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Egypt are unbeaten after 42 games which started with the first round in Kigali and Cairo last November.
In August, Kenya will be among the top 16 nations in Kigali for the AfroBasket finals in Kigali after a 28-year wait. Kenya last qualified for AfroBasket Championships in 1993 as hosts when most of the players in the current squad had not yet been born.
Other teams that qualified alongside Kenya in Group ‘B’ are Senegal and Angola. The others are from Group A, C and D, and Rwanda who qualify automatically as hosts.
Group E remains unresolved after matches involving Uganda in Tunisia were cancelled after five players from the East African nation tested positive for Covid-19 before they could play any match.
Egypt, who lead the group after five rounds of matches, seem certain to book a ticket to the games. Cape Verde are currently second in the group, followed by Morocco who had lost to Uganda in the first round matches in Cairo.
Three best losers from the qualifiers will qualify to play in the tournament proper.
Yaounde hosted Group ‘B’ and ‘C’ matches, and Kenyan Morans gave a good account of themselves. After losing 69-51 to Senegal on Friday, Morans beati 11-time African champions Angola 74-73 on Saturday to qualify for Africa’s premier national team basketball tournament.
In the match, Tylor Okari’s buzzer-beater jumper stunned Angolans, and the 28-year-old's shot ended Kenya's 28-year wait to play in Africa's premier basketball tournament.
Morans lost their last match 71-44 to Mozambique but Kenya Basketball Federation chairman Paul Otula believes better days lie ahead for the team.
"Slaying a giant is not for the faint-hearted. Morans went for the strongest of them all and brought it down," an elated Otula said yesterday.
The Kenya contingent leaves Yaounde Tuesday at 2.30pm and will make a brief stop-over in Douala.
The team will arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Wednesday at 1am.