19 November 2014

MALAWI : Diamonds salvage point

Sports-2 Former OG Issa champions Diamonds staged a stunning comeback to salvage a point against holders Complex Tigresses 29-29 in a dull and rough encounter on Sunday.
The two giants met at College of Medicine Sports Complex as Blantyre Youth Centre was booked.
Defenders from both teams were guilty of rough play that threatened innocent souls on the court. Yet nobody dared to punish culprits while officials from both teams were just murmuring but did nothing to restrain their player’s from violent play.
Umpires Steve Nyadila and Titus Wankhamwa failed to stamp authority leaving officials from both teams seething with rage.
Tigresses seemed to be cruising for victory after leading the first quarter 11-5 and second quarter 18-12. In the third quarter Diamonds were trailing by five baskets as Tigresses scored 25 against 20.
Sensing defeat was imminent, Diamonds coach Griffin Saenda made some tactical changes to turn around the team’s fortunes.
Firstly Saenda pulled out Rebecca Germany for Jessica Mazengera Sanudi before replacing stylish attacker Sarudzai Gondwe with Wezzie Mzembe.
The seasoned coach later substituted shooter Grace Chazungulira and recalled Gondwe from the bench. The tactical changes unsettled Tigresses and Diamonds took advantage of the situation to level the tie.
Tigresses shooters Sindie Simtowe and Ellen Chibokho misfired while Beatrice Mpinganjira and centre Catherine Yikwanga struggled to create spaces and supply balls quick enough.
Saenda said they never gave up and promised to continue with the same rhythm in the second half.
“I kept on reading the game and I realised that we had to minimise our mistakes. I thank the players for putting up impressive performance after I made those changes,” he said.
Tigresses coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua was not happy with the result.
“I don’t want to talk about officiation even though there were some questionable decisions. We didn’t play our usual game especially from centre court to shooters,” she said.
Diamonds top the table with 31 points from 11 games while Tigresses are second with 28 points. Tigresses can go on top if they beat MTL Queens in their final game of the first round.
In other games played on Saturday, Tigresses beat Prison Sisters 82-25 while Airwing Sisters humbled Chilomoni Sisters 52-32.
Shizaella Queens and MTL Queens were awarded free points after Aquaid Queens and Polytechnic respectively failed to report for matches.
Diamonds were also awarded free points when Polytechnic did not show up for the match while Alliance Capital Stars beat Shizaella 36-30.
Airwing Sisters beat Gold Sisters 47-36 at Cobbe Barracks. Gold Sisters also went down to Prison Sisters 30-37.

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