Malawi basketball teams registered mixed fortunes in the 2022 Bravehearts International Basketball tournament at the African Bible College (ABC) Blue Gym in Lilongwe.
In men’s category, Matero Warriors from Zambia emerged champions after defeating Bravehearts 84-65.
The hosts men’s side was hoping to win the competition for the first time since it was introduced in 2017 but they faced a strong and experienced side. Simply, Warriors were too good.
Bravehearts men’s coach Dominic Munyenyembe admitted that his charges were second best on the night.
“It was a tough game and we failed to match them in many departments but there are some positives from the tournament,” Munyenyembe said.
Warriors reached the final after beating Kamuzu Barracks 69-50 whereas Bravehearts knocked out fellow Central Zone Basketball (Cezobal) giants Central Knights 62-52 in the semifinals.
Bravehearts Ladies defended the title after beating Unili Arkangels 81-52 at the same venue.
Arkangels gave their fans some false hopes after starting the final on a high with intelligent displays. But they switched off after some minutes as Bravehearts took full control of the match.
Bravehearts Ladies’ coach Young Jere was pleased with the performance of the team.
“Congratulations to the girls and they deserved it. In all the three days, they played with a purpose,” Jere said.
For winning the tournament, Warriors and Bravehearts Ladies got $2,000 (about K2.9 million) each plus a trophy.
Organiser of the tournament, Khuda Zvareva, said the tournament was a success.
“The level of competition was high. It shows that Malawi teams are doing well and, very soon, they will be able to challenge for titles on the international stage,” Zvareva said.
Two foreign teams, namely Warriors and Munali Suns, took part in the competition whereas South African teams failed to participate due to logistical challenges.