African Bible College (ABC) Lions teams on Sunday conquered in Central Zone Basketball League (Cezobal) preseason tournaments at Civo court.
ABC Lions narrowly edged Central Knights 66-63 in the men’s Jack Up N Jump Around final while ABC Lions ladies emerged winners in the Women Hoops tournament.
The Lady Lions trounced Lady Angels 68-51 and 47-32 in the finals that were played in best-three formats. The victories forced the third game not to be played.
In the men’s finals, ABC Lions, who are the league’s current champions, started on a high note by winning the first two quarters 12-11 and 29-26 respectively with Tedd Stile and Jeff Kumwenda posting most of the baskets.
Central Knights fought back in the third-quarter with an outstanding display from Cho Masanjira and John Dusabe.
They forced the Lions back to their cage and won the quarter 44-37.
In the last quarter, the Knights continued putting the Lions under siege.
The Lions retaliated with a tactical approach, forcing Knights’ talisman Malumbo Kumwenda to be fouled out.
Knights coach Tonderai Mutasa said he was pleased with how his charges fought despite the defeat.
“It was a tough game and the players played according to instructions, only that luck was not on our side.
“We were dealt a big blow when our two key players were fouled in the last quarter while we were dominating the proceedings. This was when we needed them most to protect the lead,” said Mutasa.
His counterpart, ABC Lions coach, Paul Chinchen, said the victory was a relief to the team.
“As league champions, we really needed to win the trophy. We met our match in Central Knights. They have a good side only that we needed the trophy more than them,” he said.
Cezobal chairperson Pempho Khama described the tournament as successful, saying it showed how competitive the league will be this season.