Central Zone Basketball League (Cezobal) All Stars displayed great character to beat Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men’s team 80-71 at African Bible College (ABC) Blue Gym on Wednesday night.
This marked the end of KPA’s unbeaten run during their 14-day Malawi tour which saw them play against several teams in Blantyre, Zomba and Lilongwe.
Right from the start, it was clear that Cezobal would come out victorious as they dominated the match from the first quarter until the end.
KPA tried to come back into the game on several occasions but Cezobal showed strong character to end the East Africans’ unbeaten run.
Featuring Zimbabwean players Wishes Kakomo, Tinotenda Nhira and Henry Chiza, and Amin Nkosa from Tanzania, Cezobal won the first quarter 23-17.
The hosts stretched their lead to 38-27 in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, KPA produced several moments of brilliance but Cezobal preserved the held on to finish the quarter leading 66-51.
Buoyed by a noisy home crowd, Cezobal brought out their best to finally win the match 80-71.
Despite losing, KPA were crowned as champions and received a trophy and gold medals for their overall performance during the tour.
In the ladies category, KPA defeated Cezobal select 103-58 in an early kickoff at the same venue.
KPA ladies team also received gold medals plus a trophy for their dominant displays throughout the tour.
KPA also dominated the individual awards category with Job Byron being named as the Most Valuable Player in the men’s category whereas Madina Okot won the award in the ladies’.
Youth and Sports Minister Ulemu Msungama graced the event and said he was pleased with the teams’ performances.
“I noticed that the Kenyan teams are very strong but we also have good teams that also played well. This is good for our game,” Msungama said.
Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) General Secretary Peter Gomani described the tournament as a success.
“It was an eye opener for us. The level of KPA’s game is so high and we have learnt a lot from them,” Gomani said.