KENYA national men's team departed yesterday for the FIBA Africa Zone Five Africa Nations Cup qualifiers that throws off today in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
The women's side had left a day earlier, arriving in the Tanzanian capital on Saturday evening for the six- day tournament that will bring together 13 teams in both categories. The draws were due to be conducted last evening.
Somalia who are featuring in the event for the first time were the first team to arrive. Six women and seven men's teams will battle it out for the sole ticket to represent the region in the Africa Nations Cup for men and women slated for later this year.
Kenya teams head coaches Ronny Owino (women) and Francis Ngunjiri (men) expressed confidence on departure that despite training for only two weeks, the teams would do well in the tournament and clinch the tickets.
Egypt, who will for the first time bring their women's side, remain favourites in both the categories. Rwanda teams are also be expected to give a good account of themselves.
Besides Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi will parade their men's and women teams while Somalia, who are making their debut will only have the men's side.
Kenya women side will be captained by Shilalei Shani to be assisted by Hilda Indasi while Ancettas Wafula and Salim Ali will lead the men's side.
Point guard Samba Mjomba, who suffered an earlier injury scare, made the team but she did not travel with the rest of the girls. She departs this morning, according to Ngunjiri.
The team didn't fair well during last qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda where the home sides shut them out of the continental show. Egypt were not represented.
Men squad: Salim Ali, Grifin Ligare, Roy Kahure, Khaemba Situma, James Mwangi, James Omune, Rodney Onyango, William Otieno, Allan Ouma, Blasio Owili, Yoni Wanambiro and Ancteas Wafula.
Head coach: Francis Ngunjiri
Assistant coach: Pete Kiganya
Team manager: Amborse Kisoi and Statistician Dennis Ochieng.
Women squad: Brenda Angechi, Grace Wanjiku, Debra Obunga, Samba Mjomba, Hilda Indasi, Linda Alando, Emma Nyakweba,.Angela Okoth, Purity Auma, Susan Akinyi, Shilalei Shani and Yvonne Akinyi.