DEFENDING Champions JKT and Savio qualified to the semifinal stage of the National Basketball League (NBL) after winning their matches at the National Indoor Stadium in Dar es Salaam on Thursday.
Both teams won their quarter-final matches on their way to semis. The men’s defending champions JKT defeated Ukonga Kings 83-72 in a thrilling match.
JKT who played in the BAL qualifier at the tournament that recent ended at the National Indoor Stadium, are looking to play again by defending their title.
They finished third in the field of five teams and Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) president Phares Magesa hopes the team will get one of the four best loser’s slots to go for second round.
Savio also sailed through after a 65-60 victory over Vijana Basketball Club in a closely fight encounter. Savio started strongly to lead by 15-9 in the first quarter, but they trailed 20-29 at midway.
But Savio survived late scare in the third and fourth quarters from nine points adrift and cut it to 41-44 at third quarter Vijana were themselves to blame for losing 65-60 at the end as they lost steam in the second half.
Other teams that entered quarter final stage were Oilers, Pazi, ABC and Rukwa Stars. Ladies teams are Don Bosco Lioness, Vijana Queens, Deap Sea Queens of Tanga and Ukonga Queens.
According to Magesa men’s category champions will represent the country at BAL 2021 that its qualifying set to start later next year, while the women’s champions will compete at FIBA Africa Zone V Championship 2020.
Meanwhile Magesa said that BAL qualifier first round that ended on November 3rd this year, saw 12 teams qualifying for second round while four others which finished third, including JKT are waiting for the best losers’ ticket, “Yaounde, Cameroon has been honoured to hosts Western Zone qualifying Group G battle while Eastern Zone will be hosted in Kigali, Rwanda.”