Bayonets win K2.7mil Brave Hearts basketball tourney

Lilongwe based Bayonets showed total disrespect to Brave Hearts Basketball Club as broke the hearts of the tournament hosts, whom they defeated 60-51 during the grand final of the K2.7 million Brave Hearts Basketball Challenge tournament at Civo Basketball court in Lilongwe.

Passionate about basketball- Kalua

Kalua: Passionate about basketball

Losing heart- Brave Hearts in pep-talk after the third quarter

Losing heart- Brave Hearts in pep-talk after the third quarter

Over the moon- Bayonets pose after being crowned champs

Over the moon- Bayonets pose after being crowned champs

Broken hearts- Brave Hearts show-off the runner-up cheque.

Broken hearts- Brave Hearts show-off the runner-up cheque.

MVP Francis Mpakeni gets his trophy from Ng'ong'ola.

MVP Francis Mpakeni gets his trophy from Ng’ong’ola.

Sponsored by Lilongwe based sister companies G.Y Imports & Exports and Dr Print, the competition attracted a total of eight teams from all the three Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) zones and after two weeks of mouth-watering clashes, hosts Brave Hearts and Central Zone Basketball League (Cezobal) League-A outfit Bayonets met in the final.

Bayonets, who were responsible for Dream Team’s semi-final exit showed determination to win the final from the word go, leading the overconfident Brave Hearts in the first half.

The Brave Hearts tried to make a come-back in the last two quarters but there was little they could do as the damage had already been done.

Brave Hearts captain Limbani Chiumia conceded defeat, saying his side paid dearly to a sluggish start in the first quarter: “We were the last to play the semi-finals yesterday (Saturday) and we had a slow start to the final. We tried to come back in the last two quarters but three of our key players fell into foul trouble in the very last quarter,” said Chiumia.

His counter-part Kondwani Nyanda described the final as ‘very competitive,’ saying his side had to apply all strategies developed during training to overcome the opposition.

“We were notified about this competition almost a month before and had been preparing for a whole month. We met formidable opposition in the final but had to use all our strategies to win it,” said Nyanda.

For winning the cup, Bayonets received a trophy and K600,000 with Brave Hearts pocketing K300,000 from Dr Print and G.Y Imports & Exports. Bunda Buffaloes, who defeated Dream Team 66-61 in the third-place play-off got K200,000 from the sponsors.

Bayonets’ point guard Francis Mpakeni was awarded K50,000 and K25,000 respecively after being named Most Valuable Player (MVP) and most disciplined player. Brave Hearts’ Patrick Chirwa pocketed K25,000 after being declared assist leader.

Speaking during the presentation, G.Y Imports and Exports and Dr Print managing director Griffin Kalua congratulated Bayonets for winning the tournament and pledged to sponsor the tournament again next year.

“We have been greatly encouraged with the spirit of hard work and dedication demonstrated by the participating teams specially the winning team. We are also happy with the positive attitude from Basmal officials, who are really geared to take the game to greater heights. We are definitely coming back with this sponsorship next year,” said Kalua.

Basmal general secretary Edgar Ng’ong’ola hailed G.Y Imports and Exports and Dr Print for yet another landmark sponsorship. He also saluted basketball fans for coming to watch the games in their large numbers.

G.Y Imports and Exports are suppliers of stationery, ICT equipment, furniture and household items while Dr Print are specialists in printing of t-shirts, advertising banners, fliers and other printing services.

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