Kigali — Kenya Morans' return to the Fiba Afrobasket Championship got off to the wrong foot as they went down 88-70 to Ivory Coast in their Group C opener at the Kigali Arena Wednesday night.
Morans were impressive in the first quarters, but ran out of steam in the last two quarters as their West African opponents put them to the sword.
Ivory Coast outscored Morans 26-24 in the first quarter, but Morans would take the lead in the second quarter 21-15 as the sides tied 39-39 at halftime. Five time champions Ivory Coast showed their experience in the last two quarters to outpoint Morans 21-15 and 28-16.
Matt Costello led the victors with 22 points, while Danish-based Tylor Ongwae's 25 points for Morans saw him end the match as the top scorer, but it wasn't enough to prevent the loss.
Earlier, Nigeria began their campaign on a bright note when they beat Mali 81-73 in the other Group match. Kenya face Nigeria in their second match on Thursday.