Kenya: World Cup qualifiers will be next steps for Kenya Morans

Men’s national basketball team Kenya Morans, who returned home on Monday after the Fiba AfroBasket Championships in Kigali, will face a more difficult challenge when they make the 2023 Fiba World Cup qualifiers.

The team, which finished ninth in the inaugural Africa National Basketball Teams tournament held from August 24 to September 5 in Kigali, will face Senegal, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the Group “D” of the 2023 World Cup qualifiers to be held from November.

Senegal is ranked third in Africa, Egypt is ranked 11th, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo is 13th.

Team principal Mercine Milimu said the players showed sacrifice and dedication during the Fiba AfroBasket Championships, saying the future was bright for the team.

“We hope to do even better in the 2023 Fiba World Cup qualifiers. Kenya are aiming for three qualifying wins to qualify for the 2023 Fiba World Cup. We have what it takes to qualify for the tournament.” , she said.

Milimu said government support for the team through the Sports Ministry has yielded positive results.

At the same time, Kenya Morans coach Liz Mills said the team has consolidated its position among the top teams on the continent, adding that the team deserves to compete in the Fiba AfroBasket Championships.

“We won the right to be at the AfroBasket Championships and now people respect us and the way we play. A number of teams heading into the World Cup qualifiers are happy not to face Kenya because “We’re a tough team to beat. We’re great defensively. We just have to work on some things and we’re good to go,” said Mills.

Mills was recognized for being the tournament’s first female coach, while Tunisian player Radhouane Slimane was recognized for having participated in five editions of the championship. Ivorian Stéphane Konaté was the oldest player in the championship.

Kenya returned to continental competition after 28 years and failed to advance to the quarter-finals after recording three losses and one victory.

African teams will compete in the 2023 Fiba World Cup qualifiers for five continent-only slots during the global showpiece to be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia from August 25 to September 10, 2023.

Meanwhile, Kenya Basketball Federation secretary general Ambrose Kisoi said Kenya needs to host regional and international championships for the local game to thrive.

“Hosting international tournaments will give stakeholders a chance to understand how to prepare for high profile events,” Kisoi said.