Lionesses exit Afrobasket with heads high, says Akinyi
Shooting guard Melissa Akinyi says the national women’s basketball should feel proud of their achievements at the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket Championship which they exited on Wednesday following defeat to Mozambique.
The Lionesses lost 50-72 in the pre-quarterfinal stage of the competition held at the Yaoundé Multipurpose Sports Complex in Cameroon.
Akinyi, who led the scoring for Kenya with 10 points, admitted the result might have been different had they defended better in the loss against Mozambique.
“As a team I thought we needed to play better defence and didn’t make it difficult for their best player who really hurt us. We should have noted she’s scoring and taken her out early but we failed to do it.
“Individually we need to keep grinding. It’s a learning experience and if you look at our squad I think only like four of us have played Afrobasket. Like for me it was the first time and at this stage it’s really tough; the games you think you’re going to win don’t turn out that way,” the Equity Bank player said.
Kenya made a slow start to the game, losing the first three quarters 12-24, 11-17 and 10-16 before winning the last quarter 17-15.
Kenya Ports Authority’s Natalie Mwangale led the overall performance for Kenya with eight points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Ingvild Mucauro led for the Mozambique side with 21 points, four rebounds and seven assists.
Lionesses lost the first match to hosts Cameroon 50-74 before defeating Cape Verde 61-58 in their second match of the group.
Elsewhere in other knockout matches Egypt hammered Tunisia 85-36 while Angola qualified after defeating Cape Verde 82-65.
Ivory Coast hammered Guinea 81-50 to qualify.
Quarter finals matches are scheduled to take place on Thursday.
Cameroon VS Egypt-7PM
Mali VS Angola – 10PM