By Twimepoki Mangani
African Bible College (ABC) Lions Basketball team will be playing in the 2023 Central Zone Basketball League (CEZOBAL) finals against Bravehearts Basketball Club having played in the finals last in 2013.
ABC Lions won 2-1 in their series against Central Knights, as they closed off the game on Saturday evening 53-52 at the ABC Macon Gym in Lilongwe.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Monday, Assistant Coach for ABC Lions,Zach Chiphangwi said it was great to have the team back in the finals and attributed the team’s noticeable efforts in the playoffs as homeage paid to the late President of the School.
“We have had a rivalry with Central Knights for quite some time and we had this chip on our shoulder for not making it to the finals for 10 years however this year has just been different.
“Following the passing of Dr. Paul Chinchen last year the boys wanted a playoff run to honor the coach who himself was passionate about the sport. Even from the warm up t-shirts we wore they had a phrase written “do something” which is something Chinchen loved to stand by,” he said.
Chiphangwi went on to hail the team’s collaborated efforts during their playoff run and is hopeful they will be ready to face the defending champions Braveheart..
“It’s been a difficulty journey, Coach Jeff Kumwenda has been instilling a lot of disciple into the boys this season and the presence of our veterans has helped in developing the other guys very well therefore we are trusting the process.
”Braveheart’s are a really big cut, we are not taking anything away from them however we are also going to fight for this and hope something positive happens,’ he added.
Team Manager for Central Knights, Richard Chavula said the team was unlucky not to close off the game having lead throughout all the quarters but is hopeful the team will improve the squad ahead of the next season.
“Basically I can say luck was not on our side, we tried everything and our best to win the game but they simply had better luck.We are going to maintain our squad and beef up on some areas,” Chavula said.
A Sports Analysts who spoke anonymously said the playoff qualifier between Central Knights and ABC relied more on size and it was expected that Central Knights would take advantage of ABC’s injuries and foul trouble while the final matchup between ABC Lions and Bravehearts should produce quality basketball since these are among the best teams in the country.
The males playoff between ABC Lions and Bravehearts is scheduled to start between March 17 and 18th March at the ABC Macon Gym.