By Ronald Mpaso:
Defending champions of the men’s category in the K62 million National Bank of Malawi Mo626 Ice College Basketball tournament, MCA Lilongwe, are cautious ahead of their semi-final match against Malawi Assemblies of God University (Magu) at Chancellor College (Chanco) in Zomba Friday.
The two Central Zone teams will headline action in the last two days of the competition which started in November 2018.
MCA captain, Hydin Mafuta, said they suffered setbacks in their preparations because of examinations.
“We trained well throughout the week but the absence of several players because of examinations affected us. However, we will fight to successfully defend our title. We know what playing against a good side like Magu means,” he said.
Magu Sports Officer, Edwin Msiska, said the match against MCA is their biggest obstacle to lifting the cup.
“We know that MCA are the defending champions and they are considered the team to beat. But for you to be the best, you have to beat the best. We are not expecting an easy game. That is why we went back to the drawing board after qualifying for the semifinals,” Msiska said.
Magu were the first team to beat MCA during the zonal qualifiers late last year, courtesy of a 51-48 scoreline, but the champions hit back with a 71-54 triumph in the second match played some two months ago.
In the other semi-final match of the men’s category, Polytechnic line up against Chanco in an all-University of Malawi thriller.
The ladies’ category semi-finals will involve Magu and Bunda in the first match, before Zomba Institute of Management and Accountancy and Polytechnic lock horns in the second.
Basketball Association of Malawi vice General Secretary, Banthari Banda, said there will be an open air disco after the four semifinal matches.
“We will then have the finals on Saturday [tomorrow] which will be preceded by third place play-offs in both categories,” Banda said.