Equity Hawks secure ticket to African basketball championships

NAIROBI, Oct. 10 -- The Equity Hawks women's basketball team will represent Kenya at this year's African Club Championship, which will be held in Maputo, Mozambique in November.

The Kenyan side emerged as winners from the Africa Zone Five club championships in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and head coach David Maina is basking in the glory.

"It is a good chance for us to showcase our skills and the experience the team has gained. In last year's competition, we were making our debut in Luanda and we got hit badly to finish last. This time round in Maputo, it will be a different game," Maina told Xinhua on Wednesday in Nairobi.

The coach, a former Kenyan international, is banking on the sound recruitment he has done to bolster his squad to navigate through the continental championships. Maina said Equity Hawks can do him pride by reaching the last four in Maputo in November.

"It is the medal bracket we are targeting now. Our focus is fully on the Africa Championships and we intend to do well," he added. The Hawks, who won the league title in their maiden appearance in 2016 went on to represent the country at last year's Zone Five Club Championship in Kampala, finishing second to KPA.

"We learnt a lot of lessons in our debut last year where we only won one game. However, we went back to the drawing board to rectify our mistakes and I believe the plan has paid off with the win in Dar es Salaam. Equity Hawks are the Africa Zone Five Club Champions," added Maina.

Team captain, Joyce Nabwire, wants the team to focus on early preparations before they leave for Maputo. "We need to keep the momentum and remain in training. The Africa Championships is not far away and we need to win," Nabwire said.

In March, the FIBA Africa Central Board confirmed Bamako, Mali and Maputo as the host cities for the African Championships for the men's and women's competitions respectively. The two finalists at both tournaments will represent Africa at next year's FIBA Basketball World Championships.

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