08 March 2007

MALAWI : "We’ve learnt a lot..."

Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) has said after over a decade in the wilds, the national team’s participation at the recent Zove VI All Africa Games Basketball qualifiers in Zimbabwe was a big eye opener.
Despite finishing last at the regional showcase and losing all their four games to hosts Zimbabwe (101-35), South Africa (108-44), Mozambique (123-45) and Zambia (104-81), Malawi got consolation after being named the most exciting team.
Basmal general secretary Roy Kachale who was also the team manager said the results did not reflect the performance on the court.
"We were not necessarily a hopeless case as it was being portrayed. In terms of individual skill, we were outstanding and our off-guard Victor Jere was one of the most outstanding players at the tournament, he played out of his skin throughout," said Kachale.
The Basmal spokesman said Jere was particulary outstanding in the game against South Africa in which he was the highest scorer with 20 points.
"Although we lost 108 to 44 baskets, Vic was the most outstanding player in that game and everyone sang praises of him. We were also given a standing ovation after our game against Zambia because of our never-say-die spirit" he said.
Kachale said the other oustanding players for Malawi were point guard Dan Khomba and Wellingtone Mwafulirwa.

"Khomba’s dribbling skills were a delight to watch and he mesmerised the crowds," said Kachale.

However, the Basmal official took it on the chin and admitted it was tough going for his team due to lack of exposure.

"The game has evolved so much over the years in terms of both defensive and offensive tactics. There are new tactics in the game and we are far behind due to our failure to take part in such big competitions but in terms of individual skill, we are very good," he said.
He added: "We are also still in an era where basketball players are skinny and tall, that is no longer the case in other countries where the players are strongly built and tall. They do a lot of gym-work which is in line with the game since it is now becoming too physical and those are some of the areas +that we seriously need to look into."
Kachale also said Malawi has been invited to take part in the club championship to be held in Mozambique later this year.
"We have been asked to send two clubs which will be identified through national championship play-offs," said Kachale.
ess reports from Zimbabwe indicate that Malawi’s star player Daudi Sulemani was a big disappointment.

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