21 March 2015

KENYA : Tough lessons for youthful Kenya in four nations

The young Kenyan team was highly exposed at the ongoing Four Nations Basketball Challenge in South Africa after losing to Nigeria and Mozambique by big margins as the tourney enters day three on Saturday.
In the first game, they lost 52-83 to Africa powerhouse Nigeria before going down fighting 56-76 to Mozambique on Friday night.
Kenya started off well managing to hold the Mozambicans to a five points difference in the first quarter losing 10-15.
The turning point for Kenya was fifth minute injury to Philip Ameny who was commanding on the court. Before being pulled out, Ameny had scored two points and one blocked shot.
His absence disoriented head coach Carey Odhiambo's game plan. Mozambique won the second quarter 14-8 to lead 29-18 at halftime.
The fighting spirit by Kenya was visible but were let down by poor shooting. Mozambique won third quarter 25-18 and the fourth 22-20 to condemn Kenya to a second successive defeat.
Team manager Joseph Amoko said the losses have been a learning experience for the young lads who need more exposure.
“The boys are trying and we need to be with them for a longer period. We need more games of this caliber and they will be fine,” he said confirming that Ameny was on crutches but his condition is not very serious.
Evans Letting who was the most fielded player with 26:05 minutes top scored for Kenya with 12 points. He grabbed 14 rebounds plus two steals.
Captain Situma Khaemba and Victor Bosire had 5 and 4 assists respectively while Kevin Kigotho had 2 blocks. Valentine Nyakinda had 9 defensive rebounds and 2 offensive rebounds.
Francisco Macaringue and Augusto Matos jointly top scored for Mozambique with 13 points each. Ermelindo Novela, Helton Ubisse and Custodio Muchate each grabbed five rebounds.
From the 3-point line, Kenya made one shot from six attempts while 26 baskets were scored from 59 attempts.
Nigeria beat South Africa
Mozambique had 23 attempts making six from the 3-point line while their attempts at the 2-point line were 49 scoring 18. Kenya's shooting precision was poorest at the free-throw line managing only one through Allan Ouma from eleven attempts.
Mozambique attempted 33 free shots making 22. In the Kenyan side, Nyakinda had the highest attempts for two points at 10 scoring six while Bosire had the highest attempts from the 3-point line at 4 scoring once.
Nigeria who beat South Africa 98-57 tops the table with four points same as Mozambique who beat South Africa 80-57 in their opening game. South Africa has a superior number of points scored at 181 against Mozambique’s 156 and the two sides are gunning for the gold.
Kenya and South Africa are winless and will meet on Saturday for the final round-robin encounter. Saturday games will be a replica of Sunday’s when the third place playoff and final will be held.
Locally, league action in the national classic league will continue with a total of ten games. Men premier league newcomers Zetech University will make their league debut against Nairobi Aviation College on Sunday.
USIU face Mennonite
United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) will play Mennonite in men premier and Kenyatta University Oryx in women premier. Kenyatta University Pirates will begin their life in division one with a game against Dankind Academy on Saturday.
Co-operative Bank will face Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) in the top tie of men premier while Mennonite play second game against Blades from Strathmore University.
Strathmore ladies team begin their season with an encounter against Mennonite as Sprite Storms tackle Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U).
KBF Weekend Fixtures: Saturday- KU Pirates vs Dankind Academy (Nyayo gymnasium, 9am), KCA-U vs ANU (10:30am), KCA-U vs Sprite Storms (12pm), Blades vs Mennonite (2pm), Co-op Bank vs KAA (4pm); Sunday- ANU vs Parklands Baptist (Nyayo gymnasium, 9am), Strathmore Swords vs Mennonite (10:30am), KU Oryx vs USIU Flames (12pm), Mennonite vs USIU Tigers (2pm), Zetech University vs Nairobi Aviation College (4pm).

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