The K500 000 Southern Zone Basketball League (SZBL) representatives at the regional finals from Zomba Division have been identified over the weekend in an energy-sapping contest held at Mulunguzi Secondary School basketball court.
The teams are Mulunguzi, Likangala and Malindi Secondary Schools.
Mulunguzi beat Likangala 60-57 in the final whereas Malindi Secondary School qualified after defeating Malosa Secondary School 60-47 in a third-place play-off.
It was an exciting encounter as Likangala set the pace to lead in the first two quarters. Their prolific attacker Daveson Mindozo combined well with Patson Samu and Tony Lita to register important baskets for their side.
However, Mulunguzi were not done as they retaliated through fast-breaks with exciting Mayamiko Chimbalanga, Augustine Tumaine and Often Banda being a constant threat to their opponents.
They took control of the proceedings to lead in the third and last quarter which saw them narrowly scoop their first position with 60 baskets to Likangala’s 57.
“It was a tight contest as you know Mulunguzi are our rivals. But we are not worried since we have also qualified for the regional finals. What we should do is to improve where we got it wrong and aim to get the trophy,” said Likangala captain Samu after the game.
Junior basketball director Hope Chisamanga expressed satisfaction at the way the game has improved at junior level.
Said Chisamanga: “You can see at the way players are mastering their ball handling and movement during the games which is very impressing.
“All this is because there are competitions which keep the boys busy as they refresh after lessons in class. Next season we are going to incorporate girls’ basketball in the schools.”