Jubilation and tears of joy engulfed Escom Sisters players on Wednesday after they won 2013/2014 OG Issa Southern Region Netball League following a 41-33 victory to their rivals Bingu Tigresses in an exciting encounter at Blantyre Youth Centre in the commercial city of Malawi.
Escom Sisters were given K300, 000 for being crowned champions while Bingu Tigresses went home with K200, 000 for scooping the second position.
From the word go, the electricians showed their tenacity to defend the title as they kept attacking their opponents through their upcoming playmaker Jessica ‘Agogo’ Mazengera.
Mazengera netted most of the baskets for her side at ease.
In the first quarter, it was Escom Sisters leading with 11-5 baskets before another rampage of 22-15 baskets in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, somehow Escom lost their rhythm in which Tigresses led by their shooter Sindi ‘Sniper’ Simutowe turned on the heat to reduce the baskets with a ten margin.
However, Tigresses failed to contain Escom’s pressure with Bridget Kumwenda controlling the Centre by no giving Tigresses Beatrice Kadango any space to maneuver.
After the final whistle, Escom Sisters coach Griffin Saenda said his team deserved the victory and the title.
“I think we played very well in all the four quarters and let me salute my players for defending the title,” said Saenda.
Bingu Tigresses mentor Charles Mhango blamed the loss on poor timing on his players especially in the first and second quarter.
Before the match there was drama as Escom Sisters were refusing to play following the decision to enable the teams to play four quarters as it is required.
What led to the whole saga was that during last Saturday’s finals, the game was abandoned in the first quarter due to heavy rains when Escom Sisters were leading 14-7 baskets.
After consulting, a conclusion was made that the game be played on today (Wednesday, February 20, 2013) with an agreement that it will be a continuation of the game.
This meant that Escom Sisters will remain at 14 baskets while Bingu Tigresses with 7 baskets.
But after further consultations during Wednesday’s encounter it was realized that according to the rules the game was supposed to re-start, a thing which Escom Sisters disputed.
It took almost 15 minutes for teams, Southern Region Netball League Committee and umpires to share notes before the intervention of the sponsor.
After the sponsor’s intervention, Escom Sisters accepted to enter the field of play.
Southern Region Netball League Chairman Khungekile Matiya commended the sponsors, OG Issa Group of Companies for their support in the development of netball in the Southern Region.
“I would like also to thank them for their assurance to continue sponsoring the League,” said Matiya, who has stepped down.
In his speech, Mansur Ismail, who is an operations manager for OG Isaa said they were satisfied with the way the League was handled and vowed to come back with sponsorship next season.
Ismail also assured the teams that they should expect an increase of money next season basing on the fact that the kwacha was devalued.
The sponsors also honoured members of the media for their coverage with Frank Kandu from MBC and Lucy Kadzongwe from Zodiak scooping best reporters from the electronic media while Arkangel Tembo from Malawi News Agency was voted the best on-line.
From the Print media, Mphatso Malidadi from Blantyre Newspapers Limited and Solomoni Manda, a correspondent with The Nation Newspaper were voted the best. Form Television, Paul Kamanga, who works with MBC Television and Joshua Malango from CFC TV were voted the best.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :