BASKETBALL

Ongwae ranked favourite to help Kenya secure World Cup qualification

Kenya Morans are set to take part in World Cup qualifiers

Kenyan star Tylor Ongwae in action for Danish side Bakken Bears when they thrashed Finnish side, Kataja at the FIBA Europe Cup. [Photo: Ernst van Norde]

Small forward Tylor Ongwae has been ranked Kenya’s best male basketballer ahead of the FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers set to take place from July 1 to July 3.

FIBA, the International Basketball Federation on June 24, published a list of 15 players set to dominate the qualifiers. Ongwae, a 6’7 beast was described as “tireless, cold-blooded, and a high basketball IQ player.”

Earlier last year, Ongwae produced the clutch shot as Kenya pulled off a shock 74-73 win over 11-time African champions Angola to qualify for the 2021 Afrobasket Championship Finals held in Kigali, Rwanda.

It is that specific moment that FIBA describes as evidence of how vital Ongwae is to the Morans.

“When his team needs him to be aggressive on both ends of the floor, he usually delivers it. Ongwae is often credited for the rise of Kenya Moran's in African basketball ranks,” read their statement in part.

The team ranked 102 in the FIBA global rankings is currently bottom of Group D ahead of their second round of matches against Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt in Alexandria, Egypt.

The team players who until 11pm last night had not left the country is set to line-up against DR Congo at the City Arena today at 7pm, local time.

Basketball fans will be weary of the teams performance as the squad is in horrible form, following losses in February, against the same opponents. The boys lost 56-66 to DR Congo, 105-51 to Egypt and 100-55 in matches held in Dakar, Senegal.

The best three teams from the qualifiers will progress to window three of matches set to take place from August 26-28.

TEAM: Griffin Ligare, Ariel Okall Koranga, Albert Onyango, Ronald Gundo, Valentine Nyakinda, Tom Wamukota, Kennedy Wachira, Fidel Okoth, Tylor Ongwae, Joel Awich, Sadat Gaya (Coach), Luchivya Angela (Team Manager), Duncan Antony Ndeda and Erastus Wanaina (Physiotherapist).

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