Stand-up for the champions: Diamonds win Presidential Cup

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Kukoma Diamonds have been crowned as the Presidential Initiative on Sports Netball Cup champions after beating Complex Tigresses by 41-36 at Blantyre Youth Centre on Saturday.

The match started on a higher note as Diamonds and Tigresses were showing an impressive performance that entertained the reasonable crowd that gathered at Blantyre Youth Centre to witness the finals of the 2015/16 presidential netball cup.

Kukoma celebrating

Diamonds celebrating

However, the teams were evenly matched at the start and the first quarter ended with both teams tied on 8 baskets.

Come second quarter of the match, Kukoma Diamonds opened a four basket lead after their shooter Alinafe Kamwala was too crafty for the Tigresses defenders, who also had trouble in stopping some excellent services from Jessica Sanudi and the quarter ended with Diamonds leading 22-18.

The Complex Tigresses were not going to let the cup they won last year slip past them as they started exchanging some excellent passes in the opening minutes of the third quarter but Diamonds captain Caroline Ayuda Mtukule and defender Towera Vinkhumbo were too strong for Tigresses shooter Sindi Simtowe. The third quarter ended 31-28 in favour of Diamonds.

In the last quarter of the match, Kukoma Diamonds showed their accuracy in the circle by successfully shooting an impressive 85 per cent of their attempted shots and they now had 5 more baskets than Complex Tigresses, enough to deny their opponents from defending the cup they won in the previous year.

Complex Tigresses coach Peace Kalua Chawinga conceded defeat and added that her team lost the game in the second quarter after her players missed five baskets.

“We lost the game in the second quarter when we misplaced a lot of baskets and our shooters also missed 5 baskets, which in return we were punished by Kukoma Diamonds,” said Kalua.

However, Kalua thanked her girls for winning three trophies out of a possible five despite losing what could have been their fourth trophy of the season.

On her part, Kukoma Diamonds captain Caroline Mtukule thanked God for the win and said it was a tough game for Kukoma Diamonds but their hard work paid off as they won the game.

Kukoma Diamonds got K4 million as prize money whereas Complex Tigresses took home K2 million for finishing as runners up in the 2015/16 presidential netball edition.  

In a third place playoff  played earlier, Thunder Queens beat Civonets by 48 baskets to 34 and they walked away with K1 million while Civonets pocketed home K800,000.

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