By Twimepoki Mangani
Lilongwe, August 31, Mana: Malawi, the host nation for this year’s Confederation of University and Colleges Sports Associations (CUCSA) basketball games has made an impressive start after managing to register wins on the first day of the competition as anticipated.
Minister of Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda who declared the CUCSA games open on August 29, 2022 said that sporting activities need to be made more accessible in order to give opportunities to young promising athletes.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) Wednesday, Coach for both the women’s and men’s basketball teams, Edgar Ng’ong’ola hailed the lady’s team following their victory in the first game against Zimbabwe stating that they had done a good job in executing their game plan.
“It was a very tough game, bearing in mind that Zimbabwe is one of the best teams in the tournament. We needed to get a win and rightly so,theteam stayed compact as they were aggressive, listened to instruction and fought till the end,” he said.
Coach Ng’ong’ola expressed optimism after the men’s team lost the first game against Zambia in the morning on August 30, which was followed by a win against Botswana in the afternoon.
“The first game was tough, unfortunately, we lost to a good Zambian side, a few mistakes cost us the game but there were a few positives such as the energy we displayed,
When we played against Botswana we found ourselves it was contrary to the game we had in the morning when the boys were nervous. During the second game, the team started to play the way I know them which is normal in sport and I believe we shall maintain the rhythm as we play the rest of the games,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Coach for the Zambian men’s team, Mulunga Mulimba said Malawi gave them a tough opening match but managed to edge a victory over them after executing the game well.
“The first games are usually the tough games, considering that we played the hosts, however, the boys kept their mental focus and stuck to the gameplay. Gerald Mwita our point guard had a stand-out performance as he controlled the tempo and gave us points,” he noted.
In the women’s match, Malawi beat Zimbabwe 54 baskets to 51, while Malawi men lost to Zambia 45 baskets to 50 and beat Botswana 91 baskets to 52.
In other matches played on the first day Zimbabwe men beat Botswana 99 baskets to 32 and Zimbabwe beat Zambia 75 baskets to 52.
The Basketball games which run from August 30 to September 2, 2022 are a round-robin competition meaning teams will play each other twice before proceeding to the advanced stages of the games.