Malawi basketball giants Bravehearts crashed out of Zambia Invitational Basketball Tournament (ZIBT) in the group stages held in Lusaka, Zambia, over the weekend.
Bravehearts started the competition on a high note after defeating Nishanti Denver 52- 37 but lost by 53-43 to Napsa Hurricanes in the second match on Friday.
On Saturday, Bravehearts claimed maximum points without playing after Green Eagles did not turn up for the match but lost to LCC Looters 54-52 to crash out of the tournament.
The team finished on position three in Group B of the competition as Napsa and Looters booked places in the quarterfinals.
However, Bravehearts Coach and Patron Griffin Kaluwa said the players lacked match fitness.
“We want to play in basketball Africa league qualifiers and will participate in all such tournaments to prepare. We might not be 100 percent fit but the same teams will be in qualifiers; so it was a chance,” he added.
Malawi was represented by Bravehearts men’s team only as Bravehearts ladies did not travel.
Central Zone Basketball League representative Barlet Mafuleka, who watched the games in Zambia, hailed the team for taking part in the tournament.
“I would like to extend our gratitude to Bravehearts management and the team in their effort of exposing our game of basketball. The 2021 ZIBT was not the easiest tournament for any team. And being the only foreign team to take part means a lot in the efforts you are putting in to expose and develop Malawi basketball,” Mafuleka said.
Bravehearts, who have participated in several international competitions in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, eSwatini and South Africa, used the games as part of preparations for this year’s Fiba qualifiers to be staged in Kenya in October.