Ecobank last weekend put up a gallant fight to snatch the Corporate Social Basketball Tournament crown from Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).
The bank’s starting five of John Chizunza, Nunu Ngosi, Weluzani Chingota, Rodrick Trigu and captain Caroline Magola was in superb form as they beat the defending champions 62-57.
They planted baskets at will and taking an early lead while, at the same time, stifling MRA’s efforts to take too many three point shots.
They dominated play in the first three quarters to lead by 20 points before the final quarter.
MRA almost closed the gap as Ecobank’s strength started to be weakened by the numerous four-fouls they committed.
However, it was too late for MRA to make a successful comeback.
“We are very excited with the victory considering that we have beaten the champions of the last edition in the finals. We worked hard and gave our all. Our strength lied on the fact that we played as a team and we utilised the chances we got,” said Magola.
But MRA’s captain Blena Chisenga attributed their loss to poor coordination and lack of match fitness.
“We tried our best especially in the last two quarters. However, we were very relaxed on defence early in the game and that affected us.
“We will be back in the next edition and we work hard to gain fitness and build cohesion,” said Chisenga.
To reach the finals, Ecobank beat NBS Bank 36-24 whereas MRA outclassed CDH Investment Bank 45-31.
Other participating teams were FDH Bank, FMB, Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), TNM, Nico Technologies and Legends.
Pirates and Hoops were Guest teams from Lilongwe.
The event also saw Mwawi and Lusekelo Mlagha winning Airtel Smart phones for being outstanding in an Instagram competition and being the most engaging basketball fan, respectively.
Corporate Social Basketball vice-president Tiyese Kayimira said they were impressed with the overall improved performance of the contesting teams.
He said they will start working towards organising another event next year. n