14 June 2011

TANZANIA : US team too strong for Dar All Stars

By Brown Msyani
The Citizen Correspondent
Dar es Salaam. Visiting AND1 from the United States had little mercy on Dar es Salaam All Stars as they hit them 110-69 in an exciting international friendly match at Leaders Club on Sunday.

The well-attended match started on a quick note with the fast-moving and well-drilled Americans displaying fine shooting, spectacular dunks and classy dribbling to win applause from spectators, mostly the youth.

Dar es Salaam All Stars, led by Gerald Baru and Gilbert Batungi, made a bright start and appeared destined to put AND I at bay. As expected, AND 1 stamped their authority in the game only minutes later and it came as no surprise when they took a deserved 22-14 first quarter lead. On resumption, the visitors started where they had left, commanding the proceedings with swift but accurate passes. They were leading 54-30 at the breather.

Third quarter was even more disappointing for the hosts as they posted only 16 points against the visitors’ 27. The American team wrapped up the game with 28 points while restricting the home side with 17 points in the last quarter of the one-sided game.Gerald Baru was a notable player for the Tanzania. He chalked 15 points and played his heart out against the formidable US team, but his teammates let him down.

The visitors’ Batovu Shag was a real thorn in the flesh for the hosts. He fired 35 points and his teammate Gay Piprel had 20.AND1 have been on the tour of various countries across the world since last year with a view to promoting basketball and motivating the youth to participate in the sport. This initiative is also geared at encouraging active and healthy lifestyles among the youth.

They started their tour of the globe in September, last year and they have so far played basketball matches in Panama, Chile, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana and Tanzania under the sponsorship of Coca-Cola Company. From Tanzania, the team will proceed to Saudi Arabia for a similar mission.

Speaking to The Citizen shortly after Sunday’s match, the National Sports Council chairman, Idd Kipingu, praised Coca-Cola for its efforts to promote the sport in Tanzania and the world at large.

Last year, Coca-Cola sponsored a basketball youth clinic held here and Morogoro under the supervision of Tanzania professional basketball player, Hasheem Thabeet and retired NBA star Steve Smith.

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