Kenya face Rwanda in AfroBasket championship qualifiers

Monday July 12 2021
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The Lionesses team captain Rose Ouma (left) tries to make a pass past Celia Okumu during a training session at Kigal Arena on July 11, 2021. JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Nation. Africa

In Kigali, Rwanda

The Zone Five qualifiers of 2021 Fiba AfroBasket women’s tournament tip off Monday in Kigali, with Kenya taking on hosts Rwanda in the opening match at 6pm local time (7pm Kenyan time).

Teams from Kenya, Egypt, South Sudan,  and hosts Rwanda will battle it out for a single ticket reserved for Zone Five at the 25th edition of Fiba AfroBasket championships in Yaonde, Cameroon, in September.

Kenya Lionesses landed in Kigali on Friday evening to a warm reception at the Kigali International Airport.

The team spent over an hour going through Covid-19 checks that included a mandatory PCR test.

The team was then driven to the Onomo Hotel eight kilometres away where the players were to stay pending the outcome of their Covid-19 tests.


A sustained effort by the Rwandan government to curb the spread of Covid-19 gave Fiba Africa officials confidence to stage the Zone Five qualifiers at Kigali Arena from July 12-19

The Lionesses had a feel of the arena for the first time on Saturday morning, and trained at the facility for two hours yesterday in readiness for the championship.

As a health precaution, there will be no spectators at the 10,000-seater facility for the duration of the championship.

“It has been an incredible journey to get there. Calling up players to the team, preparing it for two months and now here we are. The players seem to enjoy it and our focus now is on the prize,” said the head coach George Mayienga.

The 53-year-old tactician has been charged with guiding the young team, led by Dubai-based Rose Ouma, to the continental championship.

“I am glad the team is in the right state of mind. The players are focussed and are highly motivated for the task ahead,” said Mayienga.

The winner of the tournament will play in FIBA AfroBasket championship from September 17-26 at the Multipurpose Sports Complex in Yaounde.