Blue Eagles Sisters have been crowned the champions of 2017 Presidential Initiative on Sports Netball Championship after beating defending champions Kukoma Diamonds with 47 to 45 baskets.
Thirteen teams from the four country’s sports regions gathered at Katoto Netball Courts in Mzuzu from Thursday to Saturday to fight for the country’s prestigious Presidential Netball Cup.
On their journey to the finals, the two teams had to see off the long-time heavy weights in netball.
Blue Eagles defeated Thunder Queens 46-31 baskets while Kukoma Diamonds stunned Tigresses in a thrilling encounter with 53-38 baskets.
During post-match interviews, Blue Eagles coach Sam Kanyenda attributed their victory to thorough preparations
“We had a very hard training throughout and our players responded very well,” Kanyenda said.
His counterpart, assistant coach for Kukoma Diamonds Griffin Sayenda Junior was short of words as he quickly conceded defeat and congratulated Blue Eagles for emerging champions.
“We lost the game in the first quarter and that affected our game plan. Let me congratulate Blue Eagles for the job well done; they deserved the victory.
“It is painful we have lost two cups. But now our focus is on the league,” Sayenda said.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) President Khungekire Matiya expressed satisfaction with the organisation of this year’s tournament.
“As NAM, we are satisfied with the organization and the improvements so far made in the development of the sport. You can see for yourself that the team that has won the championship is an emerging one and many people did not expect this,” Matiya said.
As champions, Blue Eagles went away with K4 million while their runners up, Kukoma Diamonds got K2 million. Third placed Thunder Queens received K1 million while Tigresses took home K800, 000.
Thunder Queens’ Joan Kachilika was voted player of the tournament and she went away with K25 000 while Thandi Galeta won the accolade of best centre.
The Blue Eagles pair of Mary Banya and Madalitso Mkandawire won the best shooter and best defender, respectively.
Voice of Livingstonia (VOL) Radio reporter Allan Nyirenda was voted the best electronic media reporter for the tournament.
The Presidential Initiative on Sports is sponsored by government at the tune of K30 million.