Last weekends netball action saw Complex Tigresses defend and lift the K360 million Airtel Money national netball trophy when the beat Blue Eagles Sisters by 44-40 baskets at Katoto Secondary School courts in Mzuzu.
It looked a fierce battle as Tigresses were trailing in the first quarter by 9-11 baskets. During the second quarter they fought back to win 21-20 and then 34-29 before holding the Eagles off with aggressive defending to win 44-40 in the end of last quarter.
Tigresses beat CivoNets 56-34 in semi- finals while Eagles eliminated Diamonds by 36-35 baskets to reach the finals.
North’s Thunders, Zomba Prison, Civonets and Mimosa were knocked out in quarterfinals.
But post match interview, Eagles’ Cecilia Ntukule accused umpire Joseph Kuwanda off a vouring Tigresses, a statement manager Hellene Mpinganjira and the umpire dismissed.
“We thank God for helping us defend the trophy despite the pressure,” Mpinganjira told reporters. Tigers received K7 million for being top.
Blue Eagles pocketed K2.5 million while third-placed Diamonds got K1 million.
Young Sisters’ player Mervis Kayange was named best defender, Thunders’ Thandi Galeta was best centre, Rabecca Dulanya was best umpire and each got K75,000.
Prisons’ Ethel Ghambi got K100,000 as Player of the Tournament.
Blantyre Newspapers Limited’ Mphatso Malidadi and Sebastian Nyirenda were named best print media reporter and runner- up respectively.
MBC’s Frank Kandu won the top prize in electroni category.
Airtel Malawi Country Director Francis Matseketsa expressed gratitude with netball administration and pledged continued sponsorship.
Sports Minister, Grace Chiumia, thanked Airtel’s sponsorship for economically empowering girls but said government is creating opportunities to support unemployed girls financially.
Netball Association president, Rose Chinunda, asked Airtel Malawi to construct standard netball courts in Mzuzu as Katoto courts are not user-friendly to girls.