Nairobi — Kenya Ports Authority's hopes of qualification to the 2023 Basketball Africa League suffered a massive hit after losing to Burundi's Urunani in the opening match of the Elite 16 round in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.
The dockers found themselves on the receiving end after going down 72-43, conceding 18 points in each of the four quarters as they failed to contain their opponents.
The Burundians led the first quarter 18-5 after starring strong and capitalising on KPA's weakned attack and by halftime, they were 36-13 ahead.
The dockers improved in the last two quarters, trailing 18-14 and 18-16, but the damage was long done after a poor first half display.
KPA had brought on board two Americans to help them battle for a maiden qualification. George Williams had a 13-point display, the highest in the KPA side while John Wijass had eight and Philip Odhiambo seven.
Urunani had three players on double digit scores with Landry Ndikumana finishing off with a double double of 18 points and 14 rebounds while Adonis Filer had 13 and Baru Adjehi 12.
The dockers' dreams of qualification now hang on a thin thread and must beat home side Cape Town Tigers on Wednesday evening to retain their hopes.
Capet Town will be a hard crack as they started their campaign with a 85-60 victory over the NBA Africa Academy in their opening match.
The top two teams from the group will advance to the next round of qualification. In the case of KPA's group, the NBA Academy will not be eligible to qualify and thus the competition will be between the three others.
A loss for KPA against Cape Town will put an end to their qualification dream.