Kukoma Diamonds have hailed rival camps for inspiring them to retain the Presidential Netball Cup after overcoming rejuvenated and stubborn Thunder Queens 47-41 at Kumudzi Eco Centre in Lilongwe on Saturday.
Kukoma Assistant Coach, Noel Mussa, said the team was motivated because rival camps were also gunning for the championship.
“We are on top of our game. We know most opponents want to beat us. We have dominated a number of trophies and our rivals work extra hard to stop us. So we are not resting on our laurels. It is this factor that is motivating us to do well,” he said.
Mussa said the players also worked hard to honour their sponsor, Capital Oil Refining Industries, for providing unwavering support.
“Everyone in the team knows that we have to win to give back to the company for the timely support. The sponsorship came at a time of great need and we give our best in every game to keep the sponsor happy,” he said.
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said this year’s tournament was thrilling, competitive and unpredictable.
“Thunder Queens surprised many by reaching the final. It shows that the team has improved and so have the standards of the game. Blue Eagles Sisters and Tigresses were also outstanding. Some budding teams were equally impressive,” she said.
For emerging champions, Diamonds have pocketed K4 million with the runners-up, Thunder, receiving K2 million.
In a third-place battle, Blue Eagles Sisters worsened Tigresses woes after beating the Blantyre-based giants 46-41.
Eagles got K1 million for finishing third whereas Tigresses received K800,000.
In individual awards, Eagles shooter, Joyce Mvula, was voted player of the tournament whereas Shira Kapasula Dimba of Diamonds won the best centre award.
Thunder duo, defender Joana Kachilika and shooter Chikumbutso Banda-Kaminjolo were voted the best in their categories.
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s Frank Kandu won the best reporter of the tournament award.
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