Kenya is in pole position to qualify for the 2019 FIBA AfroCan after defeating the Zone V pre-tournament favourites Egypt.
The Morans, as they are known, blew out Egypt 97-79 on Thursday night at Lugogo Indoor Stadium thanks to strong performance on both ends of the floor.
Egypt took the closely contested first quarter, 21-19, and the opening four minutes of the second were equally close.
However, with the game tied at 26-all, Tylor Ongwae hit back-to-back mid-range jumpers to put Kenya in the lead and never trailed again as they closed the quarter with a 9-point lead, 46-35.
Ongwae continued to pace Morans with his smooth jumpers and near-perfect free throw shooting in the third quarter will help from Erick Mutoro who attacked Egypt’s defense and the lead was extended to 18 points heading into the final quarter.
Egypt on the other had never got going as Kenya played good defense despite their frontcourt getting into foul trouble, especially Tom Wamukota and Ariel Okall.
Griffin Wisyuba, Mutoro, and Angwae put out whatever fire Egypt was trying to light in the fourth quarter before Victor Ochieng sunk a 3-pointer with 6 minutes to play that extended Kenya’s lead to 20 points and literally broke Egypt’s back.
Ongwae poured in an efficient game-high 29 points and picked team-high 11 rebounds, Mutoro added 21 points and picked 9 rebounds, Wisubya chipped in with 19 points and Ronald Gundo contributed 12 points with perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the floor.
Big man Moustafa Mohamed Elmekawi scored team-high 23 points to go with 11 rebounds for Egypt. Ahmed Azab the other Egyptian to score in double figured had 15 points.
The teams take Friday off and return to action on Saturday with Kenya battling on Rwanda and Egypt taking on Uganda.