Lionesses coach Mayienga anticipates tricky AfroBasket
Lionesses National Women’s Basketball Team Head Coach George Mayienga has said the upcoming 2021 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket Championship slated for next month in Cameroon will be a tricky competition.
The lionesses were regrouped in Group “A” alongside hosts Cameroon and Cape Verde, who dominated their respective areas and Mayienga is leaving nothing to chance ahead of the championship which kicks off on September 17 at the Yaoundé Multisport Complex.
Kenya qualified for the biennial championship after beating African giants Egypt 99-83 in the zone five playoff final held in Kigali, Rwanda, last month.
“It’s a different level, everyone is prepared. Our opponents were victorious in their zones just like us so it won’t be easy. We will have to change tactics and start the first preparations,” said Mayienga.
At the same time, the tactician said they will take the camp next week, but the lack of players back in school and in the workplace could affect his preparations.
“We start training next week Wednesday even if some players have returned to their workplaces including students but they will join us later,” he added.
Group “B” includes defending champions Nigeria who will kick off their title defense against Mozambique and a team that will make the zone six playoffs August 16-22.
The 2019 finalists from Senegal, Gabon and Egypt, who obtained a wild card, will line up in group “C” while in group “D” Mali will face Ivory Coast and a team. which will be selected by FIBA Africa via a wild card.
The zone 1 and zone seven qualifiers did not take place and zone B was therefore represented by three teams: Cape Verde, Senegal and Mali. Zone three was represented by two teams; Nigeria and Ivory Coast, zone four with two teams also, Cameroon and Gabon while zone five with a team Kenya but Egypt from zone five got a wild card.
Nigeria are the reigning champions of the Afrobasket championship after winning the 2019 edition held in Dakar, Senegal.
In the first phase, each team will face the two opponents of its respective group in a first leg.
The best teams from each group will qualify directly for the quarter-finals. The teams ranked second and third will compete in the qualifying round for the quarter-finals.
The winners of the quarter-finals advance to the semi-finals, while the losers will play in the classification matches for 5th to 8th places.
The third place classification match and final will be played on the final day of competition, September 26.
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