Kenya Morans Forward to Miss Afro-Basket Qualifiers

28 October 2020

France-based Robert Nyakundi will not be available to play for Kenya Morans during next month's Fiba Afro-Basket qualifiers in Kigali, Rwanda.

Nyakundi made his debut in the team during the January pre-qualifiers and was instrumental as the Morans humbled South Sudan 74-68 in Nairobi for the ticket.

National men's basketball team coach Cliff Owuor confirmed that the forward will not be available for the event due to personal commitment, adding that it was a big blow to the team.

"Nyakundi is a smart player. His exploits during the qualifiers were there for everyone to see. I was hoping that he will be available, but he has communicated that he won't be joining the team atleast for this competition. While we will miss his services, I have enough cover and I hope they will rise up to the occasion," said the tactician during the team's evening non residential training session at Nyayo National Stadium, basketball court on Tuesday.

Nyakundi has previously played for Hyeres-Toulon Var Basket in Belgium, Saint Quentin in Romania and is currently with Chorale De Roanne of France.

Australia-based Preston Bungei, France-based Joel Awich and Portugal-based Alonzo Ododa are a doubt for the November 25-29 event.

Morans, who are drawn in pool B will line up against Senegal, Angola and Mozambique in the qualifiers set to be played in a bubble setting due to coronavirus pandemic.

The return matches are expected to be played in February next year. The top three teams in the group proceed to the Afrobasket Championship.

In the meantime, Algeria based Ariel Okal was set to fly in on Wednesday, and is scheduled to join the team after the 24 hour quarantine.

Centre player Tom 'Bush' Wamukota, who was part of the Rwanda's Patriots team that defended the Rwanda National League thanks to 76-71 win against Rwanda Energy Group last weekend, is expected to link up with the outfit next week.

USA -based Ronnie Gundo and Denmark's Tylor Ongwae are also expected to join the team.

Owuor said they have been concentrating on half court intense training, but will go full throttle next week.

"Hopefully we will be a full house next week. We intend to have a friendly match with a select team in the second week of November to gauge our preparedness but we are optimistic ahead of the event," said the tactician.

Provisional Squad:

Joel Awich, Victor Bosire, Preston Bungei, Ronny Gundo, Faheem Juma, Joseph Khemba, Griffin Ligare, Eric Mutoro, James Mwangi, Robert Nyakundi, Valentine Nyakinda, Victor Ochieng, Victor Odendo, Alonzo Ododa, Ariel Okall, Tyler Okari, Fidel Okoth, Desmond Owili, and Tom Wamukota.

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