by DANN OWERRE
Two key Morans players Desmond Owili and Valentine Nyakinda have tipped Kenya to qualify for the Fiba Africa Afro-Basket 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The duo exuded confidence that the team will pass the second window qualifier slated for Yaounde, Cameroon next month.
Owili did not return to Australia, where he turns up for Kilsyth Cobras opting instead to prepare at home with his team-mates.
“Last time, I arrived only a few days to the tournament and I wasn’t fully prepared. I decided to remain home to work out with the rest of the players,” he explained.
Nyakinda on the other hand said; “We have come along way and gained the much needed experience. This time round, we are ready for any team.”
The team is undergoing training at Nyayo Stadium gymnasium under assistant coach Sadat Gaya. Kenya will take on Senegal, Angola and Mozambique in Group ‘B’ from February 17-21. Morans won one game in the first window in Kigali in November.
Gaya said the team will intensify their training in the coming days as they await for the arrival of other diaspora-based players to join camp.
Kenya need at least a win to book a ticket to their first Afro-Basket in 27 years. They are in Group ‘B’ alongside Senegal, Angola and Mozambique. Griffin Ligare, Eric Mutoro, Valentine Nyakinda, Desmond Owili, Ariel Okal, Faheem Juma, Fidel Okoth, Victor Ochieng and Ken Wachira are currently in camp.
Twenty one players were called up to the team for the February show with five young players incorporated to start adapting to the side.
Diaspora-based players Tyler Ongwae, Preston Bungei, Ronny Gundo, Joel Awich and Nelson Ododa are expected to join the camp later.