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Kenya Morans eager to qualify for World Cup slot as qualifiers start

Kenya Morans
  • The Kenya Morans play their first match against Congo at 6pm Friday
  • The team arrived in Dakar on Wednesday
  • Kenya are seeking a maiden spot at the World Cup

The Kenya Morans will go into the court on Friday evening as the African qualifiers to the FIBA World Cup begins in Dakar, Senegal. The Morans have been drawn in Pool D where they will battle out with hosts Senegal, Egypt and DR Congo.

The top three teams from this round of qualification will progress to the second round and Morans only need to win one game from the three they will play.

Assistant captain Eric Mutoro believes the team has what it takes to battle for a ticket to the second round especially after two weeks of training and has called on his teammates to put in their best feet forward.

“I believe we have a very good squad and everyone is hungry for success. We have trained well as a team over the last two weeks and everyone is looking sharp. Most of us local boys have been playing in the play-offs and we are all match fit and ready to battle,” Mutoro, who plays for Kenyan champions Ulinzi Warriors stated.

The skipper believes that the drama that surrounded the change in coaching personnel in the team will not affect them and reiterates they will be a united squad for the tie.

Former coach Liz Mills, who has since moved to club coaching in Morocco, parted ways with the team after a letter from a section of the senior players expressed their dissatisfaction with how she treated them.

Trouble started at last year’s FIBA AFrobasket when Mills had insinuated she wanted to change the team by removing a section of the old guard. The players then initiated a silent revolt to see out the tactician and it led to the return of former coach Cliff Owuor who has been coaching in Rwanda.

Apart from the coaching drama, star player Tyler Okari who helped Kenya qualify for the Afrobasket for the first time in close to three decades announced he was taking an unspecified break from the national team.

With Okari, who plays his club basketball in Denmark missing, Morans have huge boots to fill. Another player who will miss the qualifiers is Ronnie Gundo, the France based player saying he would be out due to personal reasons.

Coach Owuor though remains optimistic he has a good squad at his disposal.

“We can choose to shut out the noise and just focus on playing our game. We will go there and do our best with the talented crop of players we have,” Owuor said.

The Kenya Morans at the FIBA Afrocan

Fidel Okoth is one of the youngest players in the vastly experienced squad and remains confident the team can squeeze in as one of the best three.

“I am more confident with Morans any day. I believe with focus and aggressiveness like that we had back in Mali [during the 2019 FIBA AfroCan], it will be difficult to stop the Morans,” he opined in a chat with

The squad in Dakar includes Okoth, Mutoro, skipper Griffin Ligare, Valentine ‘Boozer’ Nyakinda, Ariel Okall, Albert Odero, Joel Awich, Victor Bosire, Preston Bungei, Joseph Khaemba, Byron Ayodi and Victor Ochieng.

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