Pazi narrowly edged Oilers by 62-61 points in a nerve-jangling match of the ongoing Dar es Salaam regional basketball league played at the National Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
The winners had to wait for last minutes heroics from their dependable player Mohamed Mshale, who expertly slotted in the last-gasp free throw to hand his side the crucial league victory.
Oilers, who fielded most of their experienced players including Pius Seni, Gerard Baru, Lusajo Samwel and Mtwa Mwandemane, trailed Pazi for most of the first and second quarters of the game.
However, they re-discovered their rhythm to take control of the game thereafter and set up a pulsating encounter that kept fans spellbound throughout.
Oilers looked to have downplayed their opponents’ prowess early on, eventually paid a heavy price as Pazi pressed hard for points to take a giant lead of 16-9 points at the end of the quarter.
Pazi were inspired by their diminutive guards Ladislaus Ikungula and Dismas Charles who easily dribble past Oilers defense to score more points in the second quarter before leading by 32-25 points.
Oilers woke from slumber to bounce back into the game as the third quarter got underway as they worked hard to reduce the margin.
Baru proved more productive when Oilers needed him the most particularly in the third quarter in which the agile play maker orchestrated a series of clever moves that won his team points. At times he made captivating solo moves to score much to the delight of his team’s fans.
Oilers were aggressive in the third quarter while taking control of the game as Baru combined well with Seni and Samwel who played skillfully to take a 45-39 points lead.
Pazi mounted constant pressure on Oilers’ hoop in the last quarter as Mshale synchronised well with Ikungula and Dennis Chibula to pounce on defensive mistakes committed by their opponents.
The scoreboard was in deuce of 61 points as the game came close to the end but two free throws won by Mshale made all the difference to separate the teams.
Mshale scored 23 points during the match while team mates Chibula and Ikungula finished with 13 and 11 points respectively for Pazi. Oilers’ Samwel had 20 points and teammate Naftael Msogoti added 12 points.
In another match played at the same venue earlier on the day, Tanzania Prisons maintained their winning streak with a convincing 61-51 victory over JKT Mgulani.
Prisons’ skipper John Damas scored 15 points and team mates Samwel Sige and Albert Kasigara added 11 and nine points, respectively.
Joas Maheta and Vincent Kagosi finished with 14 points apiece and Omari Mohamed added ten points for the losing side, JKT Mgulani.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN