The Kenya Lionesses blew up a massive chance to book a morale boosting victory over Egypt in the Women’s Afrobasket qualifiers in Rwanda on Wednesday as they dropped a 25-point lead to lose by half a basket in their third match at the Kigali Arena.
The Lionesses at some point in the third quarter led 75-50, looking all but set to win the match, but they couldn’t hold on to the momentum for long as the Egyptians bounced back to reduce the gap and ultimately earn victory with a 107-106 scoreline.
With the result, the Lionesses will face off with Rwanda in Saturday’s semi-final and a chance for revenge. Had they maintained the 25-point lead, they would have topped the four-team chart and booked a semi-final play off against South Sudan.
The Lionesses, bouncing off with confidence after beating South Sudan in their second match were unstoppable in the opening quarter, leading the Egyptians 31-11. Egypt pushed in the second quarter but Kenya still outscored them 35-30 for a 66-41 halftime lead.
They stretched the lead further in the third quarter, but the last quarter was when the rains started beating them with the Egyptians mounting a massive comeback to reduce the deficit and ultimately carry the day.
Victoria Reynolds was Kenya’s best performer with 25 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals while Felmas Koranga and Mercy Wanyama contributed 19 and 16 points respectively.
The winner of the Zone Five qualifying tournament will earn a ticket to the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2021 set for September 17-26 at the Multipurpose Sports Complex in Yaounde, Cameroon.