The 2021 FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers kicked off today in Kigali Rwanda with the opener being a match between Kenya’s basketball team, The Morans, and Senegal. The match was played in four quarters and ended in a 92-54 score in favor of Senegal. The Morans showed a good effort but were outdone by Senegal which was the better team. Senegal played in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup and showed prowess in the game.
The win saw Senegal lead Group B with 2 points, followed by Kenya with a one-point score awarded for participating. The Morans had started the game on strong footing and had shown relentless effort. At the end of the third quarter, there was only a single-digit point difference. However, the fourth quarter saw the Morans trampled by a strong Senegal team. The fourth quarter saw the Kenyan team only score two points, belittled by the 34 points scored by Senegal. Basketball is a growing sport in Kenya and also in Africa.
The Morans were seen to be weak in defense and were leaving their side of the court unmanned when on the offensive. They were also not having an easy time getting past Senegal’s defense and saw numerous of their shots blocked. Senegal did a tremendous job at staying ahead, despite turnovers, and dominated the fourth quarter. Kenya will play Angola and Mozambique, in an attempt to secure a spot in the 2021 FIBA AfroBasket. The four teams in Group B will each other twice with the second leg of the matches starting on 19th February 2021.
A Lack of Funding
The Morans have long sought government funding to help them participate in regional and international tournaments. Their participation in the AfroBasket Qualifiers is an opportunity for the team to get some exposure and create awareness of basketball in Kenya. It is crucial that all sports get appreciated in the country and organized in a way that they can acquire funding and support from the government, sponsors, and the private sector.