Dar es Salaam. This year’s Union Basketball League starts on Tuesday in Zanzibar, says Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF).
TBF secretary general Michael Mwita said yesterday that preparations for the week-long league were on course.
“This year’s Union Basketball League will feature men’s and women’s teams that performed impressively in the Mainland and Zanzibar national leagues,” he said.
He named the men’s teams from the Mainland as JKT, Army Basketball Club (ABC), Vijana, and Oilers.
Zanzibar men’s teams are Police, Stone Town, African Magic and Nyuki, according to the TBF official.
Women’s sides are Jeshi Stars and JKT stars from the Mainland; Zanzibar’s JKU, African Magic Ladies and New west. Mwita said the national basketball governing body’s executive committee would meet later this weekly to discuss various issues pertaining to the league.
The league, which decides the country’s representatives in the Zone Five Championship, is yet to land an official sponsor, according to Mwita.He they were still striving to secure sponsorship for what promises to be tough but exciting league.
But the TBF official remains confident the federation will secure sponsorship before the event roars into life.
“I want to assure all our partners and stakeholders that we are determined to have a successful competition,” he said.
For his part, JKT head coach Frank Simkoko said yesterday that, unlike in the past, his players now train twice a day ahead of the league.
“We have a number of young players who need adequate training to contain well-drilled outfits like ABC and Oilers,” he said.
“I have to work more on the physical rather than technical aspect, which I have thoroughly worked on,” he added.
In last year’s league, JKT clinched the title and are determined to defend it, while Lionesses will defend their title for women.
The Union League is jointly organised by the TBF and its Zanzibar counterpart (BAZ), and is held annually on a rotational basis in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.