By CAXTON APOLLO
Kenya’s men’s and women’s national basketball teams were locked out of the Africa Nations Cup and All Africa Games competitions after they lost to hosts Rwanda in decisive matches of the Zone Five qualifiers in Kigali on Saturday night.
After 17 years of waiting, Kenya’s men’s side will have to wait longer for continental action after the much improved Rwanda clobbered them 74-46.
Both teams had tied on six points in the five-team tournament, leaving their closing game to determine the winner.
Strongman Peter Kiganya and Ancette Wafula were restricted to 11 points and 10 respectively.
The victory earned Rwanda a ticket to both the Nations Cup and All Africa Games.
In the women’s decisive match, Kenya’s chances also went up in smoke when Rwanda beat them 57-54 in a hard-fought tie.
The teams had locked on eight points each and their last fixture of the six-team tournament was to separate them.
With 46 seconds left, the score stood at 54-54 with Rwanda winning on a tie breaking three-pointer shot.
Unbeaten Rwanda amassed 10 points while Kenya were runners-up on nine points.
But Kenya had already qualified for the All Africa Games after having finished among the five top teams at the last games in Algiers.
But Kenya will now miss out of the Nations Cup in which they finished second to hosts Senegal in 1992 to qualify for the World Championships for the first time.