10 January 2012

TANZANIA : Vijana Hang On to Edge Out Pazi

Dar es Salaam — Vijana underlined their quest for the 2012 RBA League title after edging out their eternal rivals Pazi 61-56 in an exciting match yesterday.

Basketball fans at the National Indoor Stadium were on their feet throughout the game as both teams played their hearts out, and it was difficult to predict the winner.
Vijana, fondly referred to as Red Bulls, made a bright start, commanding the proceedings with swift but accurate passes to take a 13-8 first quarter lead.
The second half was even more thrilling. Pazi, looking unperturbed, pressed upfront relentlessly in search of points. After a tight battle, they managed to take the quarter 9-7. In the third Pazi, led by Ladi Ikunguru, started where they had left off and they seemed destined for a win when they took the quarter 26-16. Ikunguru, one of the best basketball players in the country at the moment, was in his best form and Vijana had trouble in containing him, especially in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, both teams fought desperately for points, pressing upfront in turn throughout the quarter to the delight of a partisan crowd at the venue.After a nail-biting battle early in the last quarter, Pazi slightly lost steam later allowing the well-drilled 'Red Bulls' to take the end-to-end quarter 26-13.
Vijana had to thank Jacob Malenga for the hard-earned victory as the evergreen player's pace and accurate passes briefly put Pazi at bay towards the end of the game.Mwalimu Heri of Vijana, whose combination with Ikunguru worked impressively upfront, scored 15 points for his team, and his compatriot Sud Abdulrazak had 12.
"I am very humbled to help my team beat Pazi and I must be thankful to my team mates. It was a tough match," said Heri shortly after the match."This is a clear indication that we are steadily restoring our dented glory," he added. Ikunguru was a notable player for Pazi. He netted 13 for the falling giants.

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