19 February 2009

KENYA : Zone 5 Qualifiers: Pro Star Kiganya says Kenya can make it to finals

Kenya's professional star Peter Kiganya believes the national men's team have a strong chance of winning the Africa Nations ChampionshipZone Five qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda next week.

Kiganya who turns out for Paraguay side, Sol de America told Fiba Afrique in an exclusive interview at the Coca Cola Stadium where the teams are training that Kenya can make it to the continents top tournament latter in the year.

He said the players in the team have the desire to play and have proved they can work hard towards achieving this goal. He admitted though that they lack the necessary experience which might prove costly during the championships.
"We will need to fight hard and play smart if we are to book the sole ticket for the games. Egypt and Rwanda, the main favourites, will not be easy matches at all for us." said Kiganya on the event that throws off on February 23- March 1 at the Amahro Petit Stadium.

He is concerned about the many inexperienced players in the side saying the team does not have much of a chance in the show with so many new players in the line up.

"For any team to win a tournament of this magnitude there must be experienced players on board. You can not inject many new players and get results immediately. There must be seven or eight old players for continuity." he observed.

Kiganya who was voted the best foreign player in both the regular season and the finals in the South American league where he plays, says he was not bothered about the opponents size saying he can operate both inside and outside.
"I do not care who they will put in to guard me. I will take them on as they come. I can play as a three man, a four man or a five man depending on what the coach wants. I will not have any problems adjusting." he said.

But Kiganya who last turned out for the national team during the Africa Nations Championship for men in Nairobi in 1993 before he flew to USA for further studies four years latter, want Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) to address some issues.
"I am booked on a flight back on February 28. If I have to travel to Kigali, KBF must change my ticket. Because I will be doing duty for the nation, my club will not have a problem if I reported for the pre-season a few days late.

He also says, he will have problems traveling by road to Kigali and KBF should look at means of putting him in a flight instead.

Meanwhile, the number of women in the team was reduced yesterday to allow for more intense training. There are 15 players now with three facing the axe tomorrow.

Those dropped included, Rebecca Sarange, who was in the team that did duty in 2007 at the same venue. The others are Mitchell Otinda, Linda Nyikuli, Debra Obunga, Maureen Atieno and Irene Makori.

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