Denmark-based forward Tylor Ongwae and Desmond Owili from Australia are notable absentees in the national men’s team Kenya Morans squad which left on Wednesday morning for the 2023 Fiba men’s World Cup qualifiers.

Ongwae is remembered for his mouth-watering performance to inspire Kenya in qualifying through to the AfroBasket after 28 years in 2021.

“We have not received a request for a release letter from the Kenyan federation, so I don’t expect him to go,” Ongwae’s employers Bakken Bears told said when asked about the availability of the Kenyan star.

Kenya Basketball Federation premier league military side Ulinzi Warriors have provided the bulk of the players in the squad with Valentine Nyakinda, Victor Bosire, Eric Mutoro and Joseph Khaemba all making the travelling squad.

Griffin Ligare (Nairobi City Thunder), Byron Ayodi (Kenya Ports Authority),Victor Ochieng’ (Equity Bank),Albert Odera from New York in the USA,Preston Bungei (Melbourne, Australia) among others complete the list of local-based players in coach Cliff Owuor’s 12-man squad.

Kenya Morans are in Pool “D” where they’ll face heavyweights Senegal, DR Congo and Egypt.

Kenya will open the campaign against the DRC on February 25, meet Egypt (February 26) and Senegal (February 27) in the first window, with return matches scheduled for July.

Top three sides from the four pools will enter the second round to battle for five tickets on offer for the 2023 World Cup to be held in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines.

By Fred Azelwa.