Stand up for the Champions: Kukoma defends Presidential Cup

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Kukoma Diamonds have defended the Presidential Cup after beating Thunder Queens 47-41 at Kumudzi Eco Centre in Lilongwe on Saturday.

The netball side also won the 2015 edition of the cup in January this year.

The match started on a higher note as Diamonds and Thunder were showing an impressive performance that entertained the reasonable crowd that gathered to witness the finals of the 2016 Presidential Netball Cup.

Kukoma Diamonds’ shooter Alinafe Kamwana from the word go in the first quarter of the match was too crafty for the Thunder defence who also had trouble in stopping some excellent services from Jessica Sanudi.

Kukoma Diamonds

Kukoma Diamonds call them the champions. (File)

Despite having difficulties in stopping Kamwana from destroying the Thunder defense, Thunder Queens did not give Kukoma Diamonds an easy run to win this year’s presidential netball cup as they were 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 Thunder shooter Chikumbutso Banda.

Kukoma Diamonds showed their accuracy in the circle by successfully shooting an impressive 85 per cent of their attempted shots that helped them to convincingly win the match by 47 baskets to 41 baskets.

Speaking to the media after the match, Diamonds coach Griffin Saenda thanked God for the win and his girls for the job well done.

Kukoma Diamonds got K4 million as prize money whereas Thunder Queens took home K2 million for finishing as runners up in the 2016 presidential netball edition.

In a third place playoff played earlier, Blue Eagles Sisters beat Complex Tigresses by 46 baskets to 41 baskets and the Area 30 cops walked away with K1 million while Complex Tigresses pocketed home K800,000.

In individual awards, Chikumbutso Banda of Thunder Queens won the best shooter award of the tournament whereas Shirah Dimba of Kukoma Diamonds was voted as best center of the tournament.

Joana Kachilika of Kukoma Diamonds was voted as best defender of the tournament while player of the tournament award went to Joyce Mvula of Blue Eagles Sisters, with the award of best reporter of the tournament going to MBC radio sports reporter Frank Kandu.

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