AFRICAN Basketball Championship (AfroBasket) Zone 5 qualifiers provided a resilient show by the Kenyan Senior National Women’s team (the Lionesses) who defeated Egypt in the final 99-83.
The Lionesses butted heads with the Egyptians in the final round of the group stage – losing the tightly contested affair 107-106 at the Kigali Arena, Rwanda. The first two games produced a mixed bag of results as the Lionesses surprisingly lost their opening game to hosts Rwanda, regrouping to achieve their first win against tournament debutantes South Sudan.
The semi-final match up against Rwanda provided Kenya with an opportunity to capitalize on their mistakes from the previous outing. The mighty Lionesses did just that – progressing to the final where they defeated the North Africans.
Victoria Reynolds was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament for her amazing contribution of 25 points, six assists, five rebounds, and four steals. She also won the award for Best Small Forward at the regional Zone 5 qualifier.
The Lionesses recognize the challenge ahead and will be working to improve on an 11th place finish in 2019 in Senegal.
Kenya now joins the 2019 Semi-Finalists including reigning champions Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Mozambique as well as hosts Cameroon and Zone 2 champions Cape Verde. The other five slots will be filled by the winners of Zone 3, 4 and 6 and International basketball Federation (FIBA) Africa will provide further communication on the remaining two slots.
Egypt vs Kenya Zone 5 qualifiers final