07 April 2013

TANZANIA : Don Bosco Lioness Lift NBL Title

DON Bosco Lioness wrapped up the Women's National Basketball League title with 46-36 over defending champions Jeshi Stars in a thrilling final match at the Mkwakwani Stadium court on Saturday.
It was a repeat of last year's final, which also pitted the country's in-form women sides, and this time Don Bosco Lioness, who had defeated Jeshi Stars in their group stage match, exerted a fitting revenge after producing an industrious performance reducing the ageing Jeshi Stars players to novices.
The success also affirmed the Lioness' ascendency as a force to reckon with in the women's basketball. They kept their perfect run, winning six consecutive games towards their glory. It has been long period of waiting for one of the country's oldest club and according to head coach Henry Mwinuka, it's a dream come true for him and his players.
"I am extremely happy with this achievement, it has years since we won the championship, I think it goes back the 1990's, so we're very happy," delighted Mwinuka told the 'Sunday News' post match.
Orlyn Londo led the way for Don Bosco Lioness with 15 points, with Sajda Ahmed and Amina Ahmed contributing 13 and 10 points respectively. Faraja Mallack was Jeshi Stars top scorer with 11 points.
To reach the final, Don Bosco Lioness dispatched JKT Stars 45-35 at the Harbours court in another fixture delayed for over 2 hours by rain. The Lioness led by four points, 9-5 after the first quarter but JKT Stars cut the lead to three points following a 10-11 run in the second, thus 19-16, at the half.
Don Bosco Lioness found their rhythm in the third period and outscored their opponents 13-6 to jump into a 10-point (32-22) lead. In the final quarter both sides scored 13 points each, with DB Lioness marching into the final.
Jeshi Stars had reached the final after eliminating Vijana Queens with a resounding 68-42 win in a delayed semifinal match at the Mkwakwani Stadium court earlier on the day. The game, which kicked off at 10:30 after a 2:30hrs rain delay, saw Jeshi Stars led by Faraja Mallack with 19 points supported by Veronica Patrick with 17 points, took a double digits lead, 16-9, after the first stanza.
It was an even affair thereafter as both teams battled to a 17-17 score at the end of the second quarter, with Jeshi Stars still on top, thanks to their dazzling start. Jeshi Stars came for the third quarter seeking to kill off Vijana's resistance and used a 24-12 spurt to extend their advantage to 25 points.
The army ladies always looked in control and despite narrowly edging the final segment of the game, 8-7, went on to win the match by 26 points. The national champions and runner-up, in both male and female category are set to represent the country in this year's Zone Five championship set for Bujumbura Burundi in August.
This year's national basketball championship brought together ten men's and five women's teams drawn into three groups. Group A had holders Savio, Vijana, Chui, Bandari and Tanga Kings, while group B comprised of ABC, JKT, Tanga United, Mipango Basketball, and Pazi.

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