Kenya, South Sudan set up Afrobasket decider


Kenya, South Sudan set up Afrobasket decider
Bush Wamukota jumps high to score a basket as Kenya Morans went riot against Eritrea in Afro Basket Championship at the Nyayo Gymnasium. PHOTO/Sportpicha/Citizen Digital

In Summary

  • The national men's basketball team outlasted Burundi 101-83 in their penultimate Afrobasket pre-qualifying match with Eric Mutoro and 'Bush' Wamukoto's partnership proving too deadly yet again on Friday
  • The duo poured a combined 37 points to power the Morans to their fourth win in as many matches, leaving South Sudan as the only stumbling block between them and a ticket to the next round

The national men’s basketball team outlasted Burundi 101-83 in their penultimate Afrobasket pre-qualifying match with Eric Mutoro and ‘Bush’ Wamukoto’s partnership proving too deadly yet again on Friday.

The duo poured a combined 37 points to power the Morans to their fourth win in as many matches, leaving South Sudan as the only stumbling block between them and a ticket to the next round.

South Sudan demolished Tanzania 115-60 in a ruthless display that underlined their strength and surely served as a notice to the Kenyan camp ahead of Saturday’s decider at the Nyayo Gymnasium.

Morans had struggled to get the best starts in each of the previous three matches and the script was the same again with Burundi pushing into the early lead.

The visitors were first on the board through Nuimbere George courtesy of two free throws; from the ensuing restart, Mutoro managed a three pointer as Kenya aimed to take control of the match.

Griffin Ligare and Desmond Owiki combined beautifully before the latter found himself free for a three point shot.

The first quarter was turning out to be a three-point contest between the dangerous Nuimbere and the Kenyan duo of Mutoro and Bosire and by the time the whistle sounded for the first break, Kenya was leading 26-22.

Burundi came out strongly at the start of the second quarter with Ndikuri Biemenu tipping three points before Jean Hakiziumana added two points for a 27-26 lead.

Feeling the pressure, coach Cliff Owuor threw in Mutoro who had fans expectations every time he was free to shoot.

Kenya was using its point guards to devastating effect as the combination of Ligare and Mutoro or Bosire left the fans asking for more. By half time, Kenya’s lead had widened to 53-40.

Kenya was running riot in the third quarter and with the opponents clearly overwhelmed, they elected to do damage control. Wamukoto muscled his way through the Burundian defense in the process winning free throws which he converted with ease to give Morans a comfortable 81-54 lead.

The Burundians tried rallying back in the last quarter but it was all in vain. The introduction of youngster Fidel Okoth further galvanised the Kenyan lead as his three point shooting was a dream many could wish for. Kenya ran out 101-83 winners.

A daunting task awaits when Morans take on South Sudan tomorrow in a match billed to decide who will progress to the next round.

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Story By Harold Odoro
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