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Mo626 College basketball returns with All-Stars tourney

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Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) has organised a bonanza slated for this Saturday in Blantyre to create hype for the resumption of the National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc-sponsored Mo626 College basketball tournament later this month.

Basmal Vice President Banthari Banda said all was set for the basketball bonanza at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Kuhes) Sports Complex.

“The aim is, of course, to create hype for the resumption of the Mo626 College Basketball tournament, which starts on February 26, but also to involve everyone involved in basketball so that they can have feel of what this competition is all about,” he said.

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Banda said the bonanza would attract both men’s and women’s teams.

“In the men’s category, we will have the College All Stars team which will comprise players from across all the colleges that have qualified for the quarterfinals of the Mo626 College Basketball tournament and the all-stars regional teams namely Southern Zone Basketball (Sozobal), Central Zone Basketball (Cezobal) and Northern Zone Basketball (Nozobal).

“In the women’s category, there will be only two teams, the College All Stars and the Sozobal All Stars,” he said.

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Banda hailed NBM for sponsorship the tournament, saying it was helping the association raise youthful players.

“We are very grateful to NBM plc for sponsoring Mo626 College Basketball because it has unearthed a lot of talent. A lot of teams have benefitted from this tournament because some players have been signed up and others are just waiting for the players to finish their college before they can play for them full time,” Banda said.

NBM plc Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager Akossa Hiwa said the bank was elated that the third edition of the tournament would be finalised after being put on hold for almost two years due to the Covid pandemic.

“The bonanza will create an opportunity for the bank to sell its products and services targeting all bank customers and prospective customers who will converge in one place apart from strengthening the inter-students’ relationship with the bank as well as Basmal officials. This will be in a ‘family day’ set up to accommodate all age groups,” she said.

Hiwa said an NBM plc staff basketball team will be ‘properly equipped and supported’ to participate in the bonanza.

NBM plc signed a three-year contract with Basmal to sponsor the College Basketball league in 2017 and the first two editions of the tournament were played in 2018 and 2019 before suspending the third edition in 2020 due to ban and closure of educational institutions due to Covid.

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