Friday, November 17, 2017

Major treat for fans as NBL roars into life

Olyne Londo of DB Lioness (right) makes her way

Olyne Londo of DB Lioness (right) makes her way past Jeshi Stars player during a past match. Londo is among players expected to shine in the national Basketball League, which starts tomorrow at the National Indoor Stadium. PHOTO | FILE 

By Brown Msyani @TheCititizenTz

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) has unveiled names of teams that will compete in this year’s National Basketball League, which starts tomorrow at the National Indoor Stadium.

The nine-day eight day league, according to the federation’s technical committee official, Manase Zablon, will see zonal champions battling it out for the title and the jackpot that goes with it.

It did not start yesterday, as earlier announced, due to what Zablon described as technical factors. He did not clarify.

Unlike in the past when the league featured top teams from various regions around the country, teams eligible to compete in this year’s event are zonal champions.

He named teams from Western Zone, which involves Shinyanga, Tabora, Katavi and Kigoma regions, as Beez Queens and Risasi Queens (in Women’s category); Risasi and Beez (men’s outfits).

Northern Zone, which has Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Arusha and Manyara regions, will field also field four teams, namely Manyara Kings and Bandari Tanga (men); Bandari Tanga and Tanga United (women).

Dar es Salaam Zone’s teams in the league are Savio, JKT (men); Vijana Queens and DB Lioness (women).

However, Zablon said three zones, namely Southern, Eastern and Central were yet to submit to the TBF offices names of their respective representatives in the league.

He admitted there are many challenges the federation is facing ahead of the league, singling lack of sponsorship as the biggest of all.

“Southern, Central and Eastern zones have shown interest in competing in the league, but they have yet to confirm their participation,” he said.

Winners of the NBL will face teams from Zanzibar for tickets for the Zone Five Championship.

JKT head coach Alfred Ngalalija said yesterday that his players were in high spirits, raring to shine in the league.

“To ensure we perform impressively in this year’s National Basketball League, we train twice a day,” he said.

“We have a number of young players who need adequate training to achieve the set goal,” he added.

weight), Mhina Morris and Alex Sitta (super heavyweight).

Also in the squad are five female boxers namely Sara Andrew, Grace Joseph, Siwatu Eliuta, Sarafina James and Aliskunda Jonas.