Blantyre and Districts Netball League powerhouse Kukoma Diamonds have been emerged champions of the Rainbow Paints league to break a winning record of defending the title for fourth consecutive year respectively.
Diamonds who have finished the season without testing any defeat had to beat their old rivals First Choice Tigresses with 34-32 baskets in their final cracker which was played in front of a massive patronage of netball followers who came in their large numbers from all corners of Blantyre on Saturday at Blantyre Youth Centre to witness the final battle of the two netball giants.
Tigresses who have finished on second position had a huge mountain to climb to fulfil their hopes of clinching the championship as they were needed to bang not less than 100 baskets in order to turn the table which did not happen.
The two teams produced a balanced play in the entire four recommended quarters.
Tigresses looked to be more serious during the day especially in the first two quarters where they managed to take the lead but lost their touch in the third and last quarters giving opportunity to Diamonds who made no mistake but utilising their poor coordination to finish
the match with a victory.
Diamonds vice coach Noel Mussa hailed his players for returning the title after displaying a massive performance in the season.
His counterpart Peace Chawinga Kalua said she was not bitter with loss and for the finishing second saying she was mainly focusing on building a new team by combining youthful and experienced players.
Speaking after the match, Minister of Sports Francis Phiso congratulated Diamonds for emerging champions and also encouraged all the 11 participating teams to keep on working hard so that they can also become winners in the coming seasons.
The Minister also assured Netball Association of Malawi (NAM), teams and all netball followers that government is ready to build the magnificent indoor netball court arena in Blantyre whose construction works will start in few weeks time.
“It is a fact that netball is the only sport that has put Malawi flag on the map as such we need to do more in as far as support is concerned so that we our girls should continue shinning and this is why we thought it wise to put an allocation of constructing indoor netball which will be constructed in Blantyre and Lilongwe,” said Phiso.
NAM president Khungikile Matiya thanked the Minister for considering their request saying the coming of a netball arena can help to improve the standard of netball in the country.
Matiya also thanked Rainbow Paints company for being committed in partnering with Blantyre and Districts Netball League Committee (BDNLC) which she said their support is helping to build national team players.
“We are really very grateful for what Rainbow Paints is doing and let me take this opportunity to ask the corporate world to come in and assist in developing the netball sport in all the regions more especially Northern region where we completely don’t have any league
because for our national team to di better we need to produce players from local competitions” explained Matiya.
Rainbow Paints Sales Marketing Jangale Chiosa expressed excitement with the 2019 competition which she described it as one of the stiffest competition.
“When we were joining in sponsoring netball our main aim was to see teams and players improving in terms of terms play and make sure that this league is contributing quality players to the national team which we’ve seen it happening for the past five years of our
“We just wish to urge other companies, individuals and other well wishers to join us in supporting netball teams who doesn’t have sponsors so that we make the competition more interesting and balanced in terms of play because when teams get sponsors the
competitiveness of the league also change,” said Jangale.
BDNLC Chairperson Junier Kazembe was very thankful to the teams for showing maturity by observing all the netball rules which they were given before the season.
She said the season has been managed in a smooth manner as there were no any cases to do with discipline from the players or officials.
“It is our hope that this will even continue in the coming competitions because the most paramount thing in any sport is discipline,” said Kazembe.
In other finals games which were played on Saturday Machinjiri Sisters beat Chileka Sisters 51-32 as Shizaella Queens finished the season with a 41-36 baskets over Chilomoni Sisters while Serenity Stars suffered a 54-38 baskets in the hands of Prison Sisters.
For being champion Diamonds scooped K1.2 million while their runners up Tigresses went home with K700 000 and third placed side Tropical Queens received K350 000.
In individual awards category, Tigresses top shooter Tendai Masamba was voted best shooter of the season while Diamonds defence pillar Caroline ‘Ayuda’ Ngwira won the best defender of the year award.
The best centre of the year award went to Tropical Queens star Hawa Chikoya whereas Kondwani Shizo Viyuyi was named as the best coach of the season.
The umpire of the year award went to Linda Kaponda.
In the media category Nyasa Times online reporter Victor Singano Junior scooped the best online award, whereas Nation Publications Limited (NPL) reporter Solomon Manda won the best print award.
Mwakhale Kaliyande of MIJ radio was voted the best female reporter while upcoming sports presenter Foster Mkwamba of as Ufulu FM won the best radio presenter as TV Islam’s reporter Yasin Limu got the best TV presenter award.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :