04 April 2013

TANZANIA : Mipango Edge Out Tanga United

Tanga — PASCAL Mnana scored 26 points, including four key points down the stretch to lead Mipango College from Dodoma to an 80-78 win over battling Tanga United in closely contested National Basketball League encounter at the Mkwakwani Stadium here on Wednesday.
Both teams were coming into the game with their confidence shaken; and why not, Tanga United smarting from back to back defeats in their opening two matches, while Mipango had crashed to 80-39 defeat at the hands of ABC, which was a wake-up call, having been given walkover in their opening match.
The two teams traded leads over the course of the thrilling encounter, with the score tying a couple of times and it was brainer to predict the winner as the game approached the final few minutes. Tanga United won the first quarter by 23- 20, but Mipango College hit back and edged the second, taking a one point advantage at the interval, 43-42.
The hosts were back in control, as they used an 18-16 run to lead by a single point at the end of the third quarter. The closely contested game saw Bandari's Oscar Olar and Brian Mramba score two points each to tie the game at 71-71 moments after Humphrey Emil had hit five points, including 3-pointer midway through the final quarter.
Adam Gwebe and Mnana added four points to put Mipango 75-71 up and both managed five points thereafter as Mipango held on for a crucial win. Emil finished the game with 18 for the Dodoma-based side, while Tanga United's Oscar Olar had 23 points, with teammate, Johari Chamba, chipping in with 18.
The result left Tanga United bottom of Group B, with two points from three matches and their hopes for a semifinals berth in the weeklong championship are effectively over. Meanwhile, the packed Mkwakwani Stadium court was treated to a rousing show on Tuesday when Women's reigning champions Jeshi Stars were made to sweat it out before overcoming the threat of an impressive Vijana Queens side.
Daruweshi Shamun's experienced team struggled to combat Vijana's energy and enthusiasm from the start as the latter took a 16-11 first quarter lead thanks to their enterprising performance. Jeshi Stars' hero Faraja Mallack, who scored 34 points against Tanga Queens in their opening match, was almost anonymous in the opening quarter and struggled to hit the basket with a couple of attempts, while her teammates were not performing at their usual high standards.
After being relegated to mere spectators in the opening exchange, Jeshi Stars stormed back in the second quarter and a 15-12 run saw them reduce the margin at the interval as the score stood at 28-26. The third quarter was evenly contested with both teams registering 13 points each.
The introduction of the energetic Nyandele Bwaki, flipped the tie in favour of Jeshi Stars in the final quarter and their effective hustling play, largely engineered by Mallack, helped them end Vijana Queens resistance, using an 18-8 run to secure a 57-49 win. With the crowd still keyed up, another thriller was underway- the official opening match that pitted hosts Bandari and Vijana of Dar es Salaam-- graced by Tanga District Commissioner Halima Dendego.
Bandari's Harold Tarimo boasted gamehigh scoring honours with 24 points but his tally could not spare his side from defeat, as they went down 63-56 in the end, despite enjoying massive support from the enthusiastic home supporters.

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