01 April 2013

TANZANIA : 'Easter Monday' Ushers in National Basketball Tourney

Tanga — MONDAY is expected to be a definitely 'Easter Monday' for basketball enthusiasts in the coast city of Tanga and its outskirts as the highly-anticipated national basketball championship takes off at the Mkwakwani Stadium here.
Preparations ahead of the annual showpiece, to be staged at the Mkwakwani Stadium and Harbours court are complete and Tanga dwellers should brace themselves for an exciting basketball tournament, according to host regional association's Chairman, Hamis Jaffari.
"Everything is in place ahead of the championship; this includes preparations of the two courts that will be used for this year's event. We're looking forward to a successful event," Jaffari told the 'Daily News' here.
The championship is bound to bring more action and suspense with 12 clubs fighting for the top honours and the local bragging rights over the coming 12 months.
Jaffari named male teams, which were expected to start arriving here as defending champions Savio, Pazi, Vijana, ABC, JKT, Chui, Oilers all from Dar es Salaam and from host region are Tanga United, Tanga Teens, Bandari Tanga as well as Mipango Dodoma and Hoppers from Arusha. Female teams that will be locking horns in the weeklong championship are Vijana Queens, Tanga United, Jeshi Stars, who are reigning champions, JKT Stars and Don Bosco.
As hosts, Jaffari said they have made their groundwork accordingly and was optimistic that one of Tanga clubs will defy the odds and win the championship, which has regularly been dominated by Dar es Salaam-based teams.
The Tanga basketball association's chairman said host teams were in high spirits and have prepared well for a successful appearance in the event: "We hope that at least one of our teams will go all the way to lift the trophy." Jaffari faulted the regulation that requires team to field only players that played in their respective region's league in the previous season.
"We're not comfortable at all with this regulation.... our teams will find it very difficult as it denies them the opportunity to use some of their best players. We need to review it because it was approved by few individuals.
"Look! We have players who played for Dar es Salaam clubs last year but they are based in Tanga and have registered for home teams ahead of this championship. With this regulation it means that these teams are not allowed to use them. I think this is not right," complained Jaffari.
Jaffari said they were expecting to meet the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) top leaders later yesterday seeking to review the regulation as well as draw the fixture for the championship, due to kick off around 1600hrs. TBF in collaboration with clubs and the host region are looking ahead to a successful tournament despite lack of sponsorship.
"We had plan B in place in case we could not get sponsors. But we're still urging good wishers to come out and donate whatever they have in supporting this tournament," TBF Assistant Secretary General Michael Maluwe urged. Games have been scheduled to get underway from 8am, but the official opening match will start in the evening.

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