13 April 2012

TANZANIA : 11 teams ready for national basketball tourney

Brown Msyani
The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam. The eagerly awaited National Basketball Championship (NBL) gets underway on Saturday with 11 teams already in the fold.Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) assistant secretary general Michael Maluwe yesterday confirmed the entries and harboured hopes that the number would rise to 40.“Eleven teams have so far registered for the event that will involve leading men and women’s teams from various regions in the country.
“We expect the number of the participating teams to rise to over 40 because many have shown interest, so we are waiting for them to confirm,” Maluwe told The Citizen.Maluwe named the teams as Savio, Vijana (Ilala) Oilers, Chui (Kinondoni), ABC and JKT (Temeke).
The list also includes Dodoma Spurs, (Dodoma), Mzinga (Morogoro), Tanga United, Bombo Giants (Tanga) and Mbeya Flames (Mbeya).The outspoken TBF official disclosed that each region would field two teams in men and women categories. According to Maluwe, preparations for the annual championship were on the right track and urged the teams to intensify training.
“I am glad that preparations have been going on according to plan and we expect to witness an exciting event this time around,” Maluwe said.The tournament, which features teams from various regions across the country, has in the recent past been lacking the excitement and competitiveness it deserves mainly due to lack of sponsorship.

The format of the weeklong tournament would still be round robin with the top four teams advancing in the semis. Maluwe said two teams that will claim the first and second positions in both categories would qualify to represent the country in the Zone V Championship scheduled for August in Kampala.
Savio are the reigning champions of the NBL following their 72-56 victory over JKT last season while in the women’s event, JKT Stars are the proud holders of the coveted title Jeshi Stars, who were the favourites to clinch the trophy, went down 67-50 to JKT Stars in a well-contested game at the National Indoor Stadium.

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