Kenya has been given a bye to the quarter-finals of the African Nations Basketball Cup Championships scheduled for Cairo, Egypt next week.
The draw released from Cairo, however, puts Kenya in a ‘pool of death.’ Kenya is grouped with hosts Egypt, Tunisia and Senegal in Pool ‘A’, while Mali, Nigeria, DR Congo, Ivory Coast and Mozambique are in Pool ‘B’.
National team coach, Philip Onyango, conceded his girls have been pooled in a tough group, but promised to pull an upset.
He said the team had stepped up training, moving its morning training sessions to the Kenyatta Public Beach in Mombasa for physical fitness.
In an interview with Feverpitch, Onyango said all the players had reported to camp, and morale was high.
The team leaves on July 27 for the event in Cairo, Egypt, which runs from July 29 to August 6. Onyango said Christine Adhiambo has been dropped due to a nagging knee injury, while Susan Wadegu and Mwaijabu Mwidadi would not be making the trip due to lack of vital documents, among them birth certificates.
However, Onyango said all is well at the training camp at Mombasa Sports Club and Changamwe Catholic Church, where the team is training.
He said the team would play three friendly matches with boys’ teams in Mombasa as part of their preparation before it’s departure to Cairo. Onyango is an experienced coach, having guided Shimba Hills Secondary School last year to winning the East and Central Africa girls’ basketball title. He will be seeking to improve the team’s performance at the tournament.
Members of the team are Virginia Awino, Purity Odhiambo (both of Strathmore University) and Helen Oketch (Kenya Ports Authority).
Others are Susan Akinyi, Fatuma Mohammed, Zippy Khasoa, Michelle Adhiambo, Salome Oketch, Lucy Immaculate, Lucy Machuma, Mercy Wanyama, Natalie Mwangale, Georgia Adhiambo, Melisa Akinyi, Georgina Adhiambo and Harriet Awuor.