Morans back on the drawing board after poor outing
Kenya national basketball team Morans is counting losses following their disappointing exit from the FIBA-World Cup Qualifiers after two consecutive losses at the hands of Egypt and Senegal.
It was catastrophic as within a space of 48 hours, the Morans who gave a walkover to DR Congo (20-0) last Thursday, lost 72-39 in their first official match on Saturday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
As fate would have it, the team’s Coach Sadat Gaya was forced to use only seven players after traveling with a skeleton squad due to lack of enough finances.
On Sunday, the team lost 86-54 to African giants Senegal to leave the competition without a win in Group “D”.
Now, the team’s focus shifts to the AfroCAN slated for November this year and this will serve as an opportunity for Gaya to help his charges correct frailties in the just ended event.
Following Moran’s flop, analysts have apportioned blame to the Kenya Basketball Federation and Ministry of Sports for failure to oversee the best preparations even as the team almost missed its flight.
Prior to its trip to Egypt for the Global Qualifiers, Morans lost all their three matches. The team first lost 66-56 to DR Congo before succumbing 105-51 to Egypt and eventually lost 100-55 to Senegal.
During the tournament, the team was exceptional on the breaks through debutant Ken Wachira ably assisted by Ariel Okal and skipper Griffin Ligare.
However, their main undoing was committing unnecessary fouls which gave leeway to their opponents getting free throws.
At the same time, lack of proper build up matches meant that the Morans could not match the more experienced and equipped Egyptians and Senegalese.
Morans who are expected back home this week will want to forget their problems instantly and get down to work. The team has in the recent past struggled with zonal defending and rebounding with Coach Gaya and his technical bench expected to ring some key changes while expecting some key players who sorely missed the Egyptian assignment will be back in the fold.
Among those who missed the event are shooting guard Tyler Ongwae (Bakken Bears-Denmark); seven footer center Tom Bush Wamukota (Cobra Sport-South Sudan) and Forward Preston Bungei (Ballarat Miners-Australia).
An insider who spoke to People Sport on condition of anonymity told of progress in the Morans camp despite the poor outing.
“The team took a lot of positives in the event and for now, it is pointless to cry over spilt milk. Every player is now ready to correct the wrongs moving forward,” said the insider.