Coach Cliff Owuor confirmed yesterday that Denmark based Tyler Ongwae and Ulinzi Warriors James Mwangi are out of the tournamentJan 6th · 1 min read
Injuries have forced two key players out of the national men's basketball team currently preparing for the Afrobasket pre-qualifiers in Nairobi.
Coach Cliff Owuor confirmed yesterday that Denmark-based Tyler Ongwae and Ulinzi Warriors James Mwangi are out of the tournament. Ongwae, named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the Afrocan championship in Bamako, Mali will not travel home to join his compatriots in training.
"The news that I have is that Tyler is out of the tournament," said Owuor adding, "I will have to groom someone to play the role he played in Mali."
Mwangi, who guided Ulinzi to the national title a few weeks ago, was recalled to the side but has now bowed out due to a groin injury. But Owuor remained upbeat about Tunisia-based Bush Wamukota's availability as well as Robert Nyakundi from France.
"Bush is engaged in play offs and should be here as soon as the season is over. I am convinced he is in good shape. I also expect Nyakundi," he said.
Apart from Wamukota and Nyakundi, another player expected from tomorrow is Mike Makiadi who plays for Rwandese side Patriots.Of the diaspora based players called to the team, Owuor said only Australia based Desmond Owili has arrived so far.
Owuor said 11 local-based players started training at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium last week and all looked good.
"I am happy with the training so far but we will have to do a lot more when we resume today. There is little time left," he said.
Kenya, playing before their home fans for the first time since 1997, remain the favourites but they will have to be at their best.
The qualifiers for the Africa Championships are slated to for January 14-18 at Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.
The tournament will involve Zone Five teams Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Tanzania.
The winners will qualify for the next round of the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 to be held in Kigali, Rwanda.