Okal, Gundo lead Kenya to Uganda BAL qualifier
Kenya internationals Ariel Okal and Ronnie Gundo who turn up for Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Strathmore Blades respectively in the local league, will lead team Kenya’s senior men’s team at the FIBA 3x3 Africa Cup set to jump off today through to Sunday in Kampala, Uganda.
The senior men’s team also has KPA’s Ken Wachira who was impressive for his club at the just concluded Basketball Africa League (BAL) round one qualifier in Madagascar. The fourth member of the squad is Martin Buluma who was part of team Kenya to the 3x3 All Africa games.
Under the tutelage of Tony Ochieng and Martin Okwako the team alongside their senior female counterpart and the boys and girls Under 18 teams will be up against 11 other nations as Kenya makes her debut in the Africa Cup competition.
“We have been training for the last seven weeks as we look forward to making our debut in the Africa Cup competition. As opposed to the All Africa Games squad, we have gone for experience and the skill set of the chosen players fits the bill. This is our shot to feature in the World Cup and we have settled for the best,” said coach Ochieng. The senior women’s team has Melissa Otieno, Natalie Mwangale, Taudencia Oluoch and Christine Akinyi. The team has been placed in pool A against hosts Uganda, Nigeria and the winner of a qualifying draw that pits Djibouti, Mauritius and Burundi against each other for the last slot of pool A.
The senior men’s team is in pool A alongside top seeds Niger and Botswana. They start their group stage competition against Niger on Saturday at 4.20pm before facing off with Botswana at 5.50pm.
The top two teams in each pool will proceed to the quarter finals set to be played on Sunday, as will the semis and finals.