The K5 million G.Y Imports & Exports, Dr Print King & Queen of Courts basketball tournament came to a conclusion on Sunday night with Zomba based gurus Magang’a and Lady Bravehearts from Lilongwe crowned Kings and Queens respectively after overcoming their final opponents during the two-week event.
Magang’a rose to the throne after thoroughly beating pre-tournament favourites Bricks 68-38 in the final while Lady Bravehearts claimed their crown following a 67-56 victory over Angels in an all-Lilongwe team final, which curtain-raised the men’s final at Civo Basketball Court in Lilongwe.
Ranked as underdogs against the all-conquering Bricks, Magang’a put up a spirited show in the final to completely neutralise the reigning national champion, who could not be saved by the presence of veteran and experienced players such as Victor ‘VJ’ Jere, Weluzani Chingota, Crispin Makaka, Chikondi Mwendera and Daud Suleyman.
Commenting on the secret behind his team’s triumph, Magang’a’s coach/player Hope Chisamanga said they had a strategy to close down Bricks’ big guys like Suleyman, Mwendera and Chingota.
Doubling as coach and player for Bricks, VJ conceded defeat and congratulated Magang’a: “They played excellent basketball and everything we did tonight never worked. We also committed a lot of turn-overs,” said Jere.
For winning the men tournament, Magang’a got K800,000, gold medals and a trophy while their runners-up received K400,000 and silver medals. Third-placed Bravehearts men, who beat Trojans 78-39 in the losers’ final got bronze medals from G-Y Imports and Exports and Dr Print.
Unlike the men final, the ladies’ final was a close affair with captain Lisungu ‘Lisuby’ Banda and netballers Joyce Mvula, Rose Mkanda and Aisha Ali leading the onslaught for Lady Bravehearts. Netball star Takondwa Lwazi fought a gallant battle for Angels but her efforts were not enough to save her side from defeat.
As Queens of the Court, Lady Bravehearts received a trophy, gold medals and K500,000 with the Angels pocketing K200,000 and silver medals.
The sponsors also gave out K25,000 each to Magang’a’s Takondwa Jana and Mvula, who were the Most Valuable Players (MVP) in their respective categories.
Speaking during the presentation ceremony, Chief Executive Officer for Dr Print Daud Hussein pledged that the two sister companies would sponsor the tournament again next year.
“We are very happy with what we have seen over the past two weeks. It was one of the most exciting tournaments we have watched and we are definitely coming back with a bigger sponsorship next year,” pledged Hussein.
President for Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) Hamlet Kamtengeni saluted Dr Print and G.Y Imports and Exports for sponsoring the tournament, which he described as the first of its kind and asked other companies to emulate the gesture being shown by the two Lilongwe companies.