Vice-President Saulos Chilima has asked National Bank of Malawi (NBM) to increase Mo 626ice College Basketball Championship sponsorship to further motivate the players.
The veep said this on Saturday when he graced the tournament’s inaugural finals between MCA Lilongwe and Poly Bobcats at ABC Court in Lilongwe.
“K30 million is too little and as a bank of the nation, I expect you to increase the sponsorship [next year],” he said.
Nevertheless, Chilima thanked NBM for its support towards basketball which he said has lifted the profile of the sport.
MCA Lilongwe clinched the maiden title after out-rebounding and out-defending Poly Bobcats, smashing them 61-73 in a largely one-sided affair.
Poly showed signs that they could stand and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with their opponents by restricting them to a five-basket margin lead in the first quarter which ended 18-23.
However, they could not stand the heat in the second quarter with MCA dominating in every aspect and when the half time bell rang, the scoreboard read 24-43.
Switching guard Wishes Kakomo was outstanding for MCA. He grabbed every rebound, blocked most shots, did not settle for fadeaways and roared with enough fury to give Poly nightmares.
In the third quarter, the game continued to stretch beyond the grasps of Poly who were overwhelmingly let down by poor shooting and the scoreline stood at 44-65.
In the final quarter, Poly seemed to have tamed their nerves as they shrunk the score margin, at some point, to 10 points. Power forward Alfred Mdula and switching guard Don Gama were at the centre of the rebounds and the three-pointers.
But when MCA turned on the heat, they did it with power and conviction. With Kakomo and small forward Patrick Chirwa finding spaces in the opponents’ zone and claiming the much need points, a Poly comeback was thwarted.
MCA Lilongwe received K1 million and a trophy.
In women’s final, ABC beat Bunda 47-43 to be crowned champions. The winners also got K1 million each while runners-up gor K500 000 each. Third-placed teams received K250 000 each.
ABC Lions scooped the third position in men’s category after defeating MCA Blantyre 71-66 while NRC Ladies finished in a similar position in the women’s category with a 54-25 victory over Chanco Ladies.
Kakomo was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) while in women’s category the award went to Wezzie Munthali.
Macfussy Kawawa, NBM chief executive officer, pledged continued sponsorship.
“We shall be back with the sponsorship next year because we feel that the sport has potential for growth, especially if we lay the foundation in schools,” he said.