08 - 16
July 2023
10 Kevin Bruno Franceschi (MAR), 15 Soufiane Benhmine (MAR)
Game Report
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End of the road for Kenya, Morocco reach Semi-Finals


LUANDA (ANGOLA) – Kenya's much-coveted FIBA AfroCan title won't happen this year after the Morans crashed out in the Quarter-Finals against Morocco on Thursday in Luanda.

The 55-46 win not only sent Morocco to the Semi-Finals - where they will face the winner of the game between reigning champions RD Congo and Nigeria - but it also qualified Morocco to the 2027 FIBA AfroCan as semifinalists.

Mohamed Choua (Morocco)

Kenya finished second in the 2019 edition of the tournament in Bamako, and hoped to improve from their historic result, but they will need to wait, at least, another four years.

Kenya will now fight for best positioning possible in the Classification Round for the Fifth-Place. 

TURNING POINT: Fidel Okoth's two points opened the score for Kenya but Jihad Benchlikha responded with three-pointer a 1.5 minute later to give Morocco a brief lead before Tom Wamukota stubbornly hit a layup for another Kenya lead. 

Benchlikha sank another three-pointer for a Morocco 6-4 lead, and they never trailed again.

Jihad Benchlikha

Despite trailing by as many as 13 points in the second quarter, Kenya cut the gap to just two points late in the fourth quarter, but three consecutive turn-overs cost Kenya a place in the Semi-Finals as Morocco closed the game out with nine-point (55-46) win. 

HEROES: Benchlikha did the job for Morocco. The 32-year-old shooting guard was 4-for-5 from behind the arc to give Morocco a 17-10 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

He added two more points to finish with a game-high 14 points.

Kevin Franceschi had 13 points and Mohamed Choua contributed 10 for Morocco.

STATS DON’T LIE : In a do-or-die game where every ball possession matters, free-throws are like gold, but Kenya struggled from the charity stripe, making only 4 of 11 attempts. 

And to make matters worse for Kenya, Tom Wamukota had a subpar performance, finishing with just points before fouling out later in the final quarter. 

Erick Mutoro - the only Kenyan to score in double digits - finished with 10 points; Derrick Ogechi finished 4-for-8 from the floor to contribute 9 points - the first time he scored under 16 points. 

Abdelhakim Zouita

BOTTOM LINE : Morocco haven't played an attracting game, but improving their mark to 3-1 ahead of the Semi-Finals comes as major morale booster.

Morocco looked more discipline and determined and deservedly came up on the top.

THEY SAID : "We didn't stay within our game plan. We did good in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter we didn't get the right shots. Credit to Morocco because of the pressure they put on our guys , which forced bad decisions." - Kenya head coach Cliff Owuor.

"It's the quarterfinals. You have to give your all, otherwise you go home. In the first quarter they shot a lot of three-point shots - especially number 22 [Jihad Benchlikha]. He sank like four three-points and that's what we struggled to fight the whole game." - Kenya guard Erick Mutoro.

"In the last edition, Morocco finished in the semifinals, but we want to do better than the past edition. My players stuck to our game plan." - Morocco head coach Labib El Hamrani.