National Bank of Malawi’s Mo626 College Basketball tournament is set to continue dominating the country’s basketball in the year 2020 with Basketball Association of Malawi (Basmal) stating that it has no resources to organise a national competition.
Basmal President, Hamlet Kamtengeni, said the college tournament has helped them to identify rare talent since inception in 2017.
The K65 million competition is played in the country’s four basketball zones of Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern before teams qualify for the national finals.
The current edition of the showpiece threw off in November last year after a colourful launching ceremony in the previous month at the Polytechnic in Blantyre.
Kamtengeni said Mo626 was still serving the purpose of a national competition as it brings together top teams from all the four zones.
“We get just K1 million from the government through the Malawi National Council of Sports which cannot suffice for a national tournament. We use this money for youth and ladies competitions in line with the government’s objectives. These are resources from the Presidential Initiative for Sports which are aimed at developing talent from the grassroots,” he said.
But Captain for Northern Zone Basketball League champions Nkhulande, Patrick Munthali, said Basmal should continue hunting for sponsors who could bankroll a national tournament for top teams in the country’s leagues.
“Being champions at regional level without meeting our counterparts from other zones does not augur well with us. We need to gauge our strength against champions from other zones so that we learn from each other,” Munthali said.
In the absence of national competitions at senior level, Southern and Central zone teams have been organizing tournaments among themselves in either Blantyre or Lilongwe.
The college basketball event, which is competed for in both the ladies’ and men’s categories, also contributes players to the country’s top teams.