Zomba-based basketball giants Magang’a on Sunday night defied the odds to beat the ‘Indomitable’ Bricks 68-38 in the grand final of the K5 million King & Queen of the Court National Basketball Tournament at Civo Court in Lilongwe.
In the women section, Bravehearts Ladies emerged the queens of the court after defeating Angels 67-56 in an all-Lilongwe affair which curtain-raised the men’s final.
The tournament was sponsored by G.Y Imports & Exports and sister company Dr Print.
Ranked as underdogs against the Blantyre-based giants, Magang’a stunned Bricks with a fine display of skills that saw them lead the reigning national champions in every quarter.
Featuring seasoned players in the likes of Victor ‘VJ’ Jere, Crispin Makaka, Chikondi Mwendera, Weluzani Chingota and former Mimbulu point guard Daud Suleman, Bricks were odds on favourites prior to the game but were stunned by the spirited Magang’a.
After the final, Jere conceded defeat, saying: “Congratulations to Magang’a. They played some good basketball and deserved to win. We committed a lot of turn-overs and everything we did tonight did not work.”
Magang’a’s coach/player Hope Chisamanga said they were not under any pressure going into the match as they had nothing to lose.
“We knew that Bricks are an experienced and tough side. They have big players such as Chingota, Suleman and Mwendera, but we neutralised them. I thank all my colleagues for playing their lungs out,” said Chisamanga.
As Kings of the Court, Magang’a received K800 000, a trophy and gold medals while Bricks walked away with K400 000 and silver medals. In third place, Bravehearts men defeated Trojans 78-39 to take bronze.
The ladies’final, which was an all-Lilongwe affair also produced sparks with Angels’ Takondwa Lwazi causing problems in Bravehearts Ladies defence. However, the Bravehearts Ladies had enough arsenal in captain Lisungu ‘Lisuby’ Banda, Joyce Mvula, Rose Mkanda and Aisha Ali to get the Queen of the Court crown.
Bravehearts Ladies received a trophy, gold medals and K500 000 as while Angels pocketed K200 000 and silver medals.
Mvula and Magang’a’s Takondwa Jana were named the Most Valuable Players (MVP) in the ladies and men categories respectively and received K25 000 each.
Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) president Hamlet Kamtengeni hailed G.Y Imports and Exports and Dr Print for taking a leading role in developing basketball and he urged other companies to emulate the good gesture.
Dr Print chief executive officer Daud Hussein said the sponsors were greatly pleased with both the organisation and the skills displayed by the participating teams.
“We have watched one of the most exciting tournaments which has been climaxed by the fall of the giant. We are going to sponsor the tournament again next year probably in a match bigger way,” said Husein.