28 September 2007
KENYA : Kenya’s Olympic hopes go up in smoke
By Dann O’Werre
Kenya lost 60-73 to defending champions Nigeria in their last group B game of the Africa Feminine Championships game in Thies, Senegal, and bow out of the run for 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. They will now play pool A bottom-placed team, Madagascar, in a ninth/10th position on Friday.
The victory saw Nigeria book a quarter-finals berth against group A third place finisher, Mozambique.
As always Kenya started off poorly allowing Nigeria to easily dictate the tempo of the match, taking a 17 points margin in the first quarter and a 32-15 points lead.
The Africa representatives at the basketball event of the 2004 Olympics, also took control of the proceedings in the second with a close 11-08 points.
Efforts by the Kenyans to rally back in the third and fourth paid dividends as they took charge 13-11 and 24-19 but again it was not enough to secure a win.
Captain Caroline Achieng led the way with 18 points and 4 assists, Brenda Odula added 13 points and 3 assists Joyce Makungu made 12 points while Miriam Awuor had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.
"We played well today," Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) chairman Agina Wesonga told SportFest from Thies.
Nigeria’s Olayinka Sanni led her team-mates with 13 points, centre, Ugochukwu Oha added 12 points, while the duo of Sefi Mojidi and Chisaokwu Ononiwu each contributed 10. Spurred by WNBA player Mwadi Mabika, DR Congo found their rhythm beating leaders Angola 52-42 to finish fourth. They will play against favourites Senegal.
Cameroon booked a place in the quarters in her last group-B match match when they posted a 65-40 victory over winless Cape Verde. They will move to Dakar.