02 April 2013

TANZANIA : Jeshi Stars Exert Superiority

Tanga — NATIONAL Basketball League, Ladies Category reigning champions Jeshi Stars opened their title defence campaign in style after posting a resounding 119-25 win over hosts Tanga Queens at the Mkwakwani Stadium court here on Monday.
Jeshi Stars dominated the Group C tie throughout and comfortably overcame the youthful looking Tanga Queens side, with impressive Faraja Mallack doing most of the damage after scoring 34 points to lead the way for the army team.
The handful crowd that turned up for the match was treated to a game between the team with the vast experience, giving Tanga Queens, a team in the making, harsh lesson.
Jeshi Stars expectedly raced out of the gate with a commanding start, scoring the first 12 points with Anomisiata Anthony bagging three 2-pointers. Tanga managed their first two points but Jabu Shaaban restored Jeshi Stars' 12 points advantage with a 2-pointer. Jeshi Stars spearheaded by Faraja maintained their dominancy and finished the first quarter leading 22-6.
Jeshi Stars ran off a 24-5 spurt overall to grab a 17-7 lead at the breather. Tanga Queens started the third quarter by adding two points to their tally, but a run of 18-2 points saw Jeshi Stars open a 64-13 lead. Instead of resting on its laurels, the holders continued to look to finish off the game and stretched the lead to 83-16 following a 19-1 run as the third quarter came to a close.
The Queens' defence overall was quite subpar, but it was particularly dreadful against free-scoring Faraja. Tanga Queens coach Ahmed Rajab was urging his players to close Faraja and co. down quickly enough or put much pressure on them.
They struggled to contain the Stars offense and their inability to defend was a recipe for disaster. The hosts allowed too much quality looks near the basket, which the reigning champions full exploited. With the game proceeding into the fourth quarter, there was only one winner and the fans were left to guess how many points would be scored by the vividly superior Jeshi Stars.
They added 36 more against Tanga Queens' 9 to complete a 119-25 rout. Jeshi Stars head coach, Daruweshi Shamun, who was up against his mentor, Rajab, said he was pleased with his side's winning start. "It is a good start, we aim to win all our matches as we're determined to retain the title, we played well and defended as a team, the players showed togetherness and played for each other, that was the reason we won the match," Shamun told the 'Daily News' in a post match interview.
Tanga Queens head coach Ahmed Rajabu was left to rue the lack of experience in his youthful side. "Most of these players started playing basketball two years ago and this is their first major tournament.
They were playing against a team with massive experience. "I know some of the players that make up this Jeshi Stars team, I trained them almost 15 years ago, therefore they have vast experience of the game, you cannot expect our team to compete with them in an even way. "If you look at the squad that played the final quarter of the game, the oldest player is 19 years old, we had a player who is 14 years old," he said.
"We're still building our team but we will give it our best shot," Rajabu promised. Earlier on the day, Mipango College from Dodoma were given a walkover in their group B match after their opponents JKT failed to turn up at the venue. It means that Mipango College were awarded a 20-0 win and two points.
Match umpire John Golika was forced into cancelling the match after the Dar es Salaam-based team failed to report in Tanga for the early kick-off. Chui of Dar es Salaam were also awarded two points and a 20-0 win without having to sweat it out after Arusha Kings failed to grace their Group C fixtures. Reports claimed that lack of fund was to blame for the Kings' no show.

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