Kenyan men face minnows Eritrea in their opening match of the Fiba Afro Basketball pre-qualifiers which tip off in Nairobi Tuesday.
Kenyan coach Cliff Owuor on Sunday said it was important that for the team to perform well in the opening match, then plan for the remaining fixtures.
“We are not underrating any team but the match against Eritrea looks easier, and that informed my decision to choose to play them in the opening match instead of getting tough opposition for the opening match,” Owuor told Nation Sport.
According to Fiba rules, the host nation is allowed an opportunity to select the team to play in their opening match as one way of giving their fans something to cheer about on the opening day of the tournament.
Owuor said morale is high in the team’s camp and the players were working on the finer details ahead of tomorrow’s match in the championship that has attracted five countries.
“We are currently working on tactics and strategy. The players are in good shape after two weeks of endurance training which left them physically fit and ready for battle,” Owuor said.
The Fiba Afro Basketball pre-qualifiers, to be played from January 14 to 18, will see the Kenya Morans face off with Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea in the quest for a single ticket to the qualifiers proper. The Fiba Afro basketball tournament will be held next year.
The winner of the tournament will join Group ‘B’ for the qualifiers proper, and will do battle with, among others, Senegal, Angola and Mozambique for a chance to play in the qualifiers proper.