Kenya national women’s basketball team blew their chances of qualifying for the next round after being upset 59-62 by Uganda in their Afro Basket Zone Five qualifier match on Thursday evening in Cairo, Egypt.
Kenya came into this match needing a win against Uganda and a similar feat against leaders Egypt in their final match to secure top spot. They had convincingly beaten Uganda 70-41 on Monday.
But, in the second match, Uganda fired the warning shots by taking a 15-8 lead in the first quarter of the second match. Kenya improved in the second quarter to trail 20-24 at the break.
In the third quarter, Kenya appeared to be on the right course when good shot selection and fast breaks enabled them to outscore Uganda 26-14 for a 46-38 lead.
The surge did not last because of sloppy defending and five turnovers in the final quarter which enabled the Ugandans to seal the win after scoring 24 points to Kenya’s 13.
Natalie Akinyi, arguably Kenya’s best player at the competition scored 12 points including eight of 10 attempts from the free throw line. Akinyi also chipped in a game high of 10 rebounds and two assists.
Captain Hilda Indasi had her most effective match with 12 points, three steals and two rebounds. Mercy Wanyama used her imposing frame to grab seven rebounds and impressive three blocks. She finished the game with nine points.
Uganda’s Flavia Joly scored a game high 21 points, nine rebounds and two steals.
Team mate Ritah Imanishimwe contributed 17 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Moreen Amoding has six points, three steals and a block in the tie.
Team comparison figures show that the match was closely contested. Kenya had 54 rebounds to Uganda’s 52.
On the free throw shots, Uganda posted a slightly better percentage with 74.2 to Kenya’s 71.4 while it was a disastrous night from three point range where Kenya had a percentage rate of 16.1 to Uganda’s 24.1.
Kenya now has to beat Egypt by a 26 point difference in the match on Friday evening and hope Uganda can upset the North Africans in their home turf on Saturday to qualify for the continental showpiece.
The Kenya men’s team redeemed themselves after a poor run of three losses by beating a stubborn Somalia side 90-87 in their sixth/seventh place classification match on Thursday.
Kenyan guard Evans Letting had a good outing with a game high 24 points, five rebounds and two assists as four players scored double digits. Brian Namake scored 17 points, five rebounds and was. sleek with six steals.
Michael Makiadi and Phillip Ameny posted similar contributions of 13 points and five rebounds.
Somalia had five players who scored 10 or more points. Mohammed Ali led his team’s scoring charts with 24 points, five rebounds and one assist.
Yusuf Qaafow and Mohammed Shekmohamed each had 12 points. Hanad Abdi added 11 points, two assists and two rebounds while teammate Osman Olol scored 11 points, six rebounds and one block.
Results (Thursday) Men: Kenya 90 Somali 87; Women: Kenya 59 Uganda 62.
Men Semi final: Uganda v Rwanda (8 p.m.), Egypt v Burundi (10.15 p.m.); Women: Kenya v Egypt (7 p.m.