After watching top Tanzanian basketball outfits maul Malawian clubs last year, G.Y. Imports and Exports Ltd, the country’s main basketball sponsors have set national champions Bricks on the Tanzanian sides, who are expected to entertain the Malawi basketball kings in Dar es Salaam starting from tonight.
The Bricks flew out to the Tanzanian port city from Kamuzu International Airport (Kia) yesterday confident of revenging the heavy defeats suffered by Lilongwe based giants- Cougars, Mimbulu, Central Knights and ABC Lions at the hands of visiting Tanzanian teams East Zone I and West Zone III during the launch of Brave Hearts Basketball Club in Lilongwe in last year.
“We were mad when we were not invited to play against the Tanzanian teams in Lilongwe and now it is our chance to show the Tanzanians that there is basketball in Malawi,” said Bricks coach player Victor Jere flanked by one of his senor players Manny Bessy before departure yesterday (Friday, January 22, 2015).
The veteran coach/player said the Bricks were in the right shape to take on the Tanzanian top teams, having finished last season unbeaten in all local competitions.
“Last year alone we won the ABC Invitational tournament, Southern Zone Basketball League (Sozobal) and the National Championship sponsored by G.Y Imports and Exports. We played a total of 45 games and won all of them. The Tanzanian tour has, therefore, come at a better,” said Jere.
On his part, Bessy said the Tanzanian games would give exposure to upcoming players in the Blantyre based side: “We have the big guys like Jere, Weluzani Chingota, captain Crispin Makaka and Chikondi Mwendera, who have really been pushing us to work hard but there are some upcoming players in our team, who need such exposure,” he said.
Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) general secretary Edgar Ng’ong’ola was all thanks to G.Y. Imports and Exports for living up to its pledge.
“It’s one thing to make a pledge and another thing to fulfil the pledge. On behalf of Basmal, I thank G.Y Imports and Exports for living up to their word. Since last year, G.Y Imports have been our strategic partner in the development of basketball and their continued support is much appreciated by Basmal and the entire basketball fraternity.
“It is in our strategic plan to get our players involved in international competitions like the Zone VI and other continental tournaments and we will only be able to compete at that level if we test our strength against teams from other countries,” said Ng’ong’ola in a statement issued before the team’s departure.
Ng’ongola thanked the company for accommodating an official from the association on the trip: “They have accommodated our technical director Obed Nyirongo which means our association will learn how our friends operate both on the technical and administrative aspects,” said Ng’ong’ola.
G.Y Imports and Exports managing director Griffin Kalua, who has accompanied the team said the trip was a fulfilment of the pledge made by his company during the national basketball championship held in December 2015.
“When we sponsored the Basmal National Champonship, we made a commitment to sponsor the winning team to go to Tanzania for international friendly games against top teams from that country. We are fulfilling that pledge and this is just the beginning of many good things we have lined up for the game of basketball this year,” said Kalua.
The Bricks have flown to Tanzania alongside Brave Hearts, a developmental basketball team owned by G.Y. Imports and Exports, who are dealers in in stationery, ICT equipment, furniture and other household products.
According to basketball followers, this is the first time in local basketball history for a Basmal registered side to travel abroad by air.
Below is the games’ schedule for the Bricks, who are expected back home on Monday.
Saturday, January 23, 2016 (20.00hrs)
Bricks vs East Zone IV at Bball Kitaa Park curtain-raised by Brave Hearts vs Mbezi
Sunday, January, 24, 2016 (20.00hrs)
Bricks vs West Zone III at Bball Kitaa Park curtain-raised by Brave Hearts vs West Zone IIFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :