Written by Mphatso Malidadi
Central Zone Basketball League (Cezobal) promising side Blazers have caused steer in the league after displacing defending champions Mimbulu at the end of the first round.
Cezobal first round wound up on Wednesday night at African Bible College and Blazers, who narrowly defeated Mimbulu 77-76, are at the top with 25 points.
Cougars, who pounced Pirates 94-56 in final match, lie third with 24 points while ABC are third with the same number of points.
Mimbulu have dropped to fourth with 23 points and are followed by Trojans, 12 Disciples and Airborne Rangers, who are on fifth, sixth and seventh positions respectively.
Bunda Buffaloes have collected 18 points to occupy eighth position with Mdzodzo, Pirates, Alliance One and Kamuzu Barracks following in pecking order.
Natural Resources College Pythons are thirteenth while Bayonets are anchoring the table with 11 points. Bayonets lost their final game to Alliance One 35-42.
Cezobal general secretary Herbert Chidaya said the first round was very competitive.
“The games have been very competitive and difficult to predict. ABC, who were nowhere near the top last season, have been the most improved team. This could be as a result of their recruitment drive which saw Vincent Mbeule (formerly Crazy Warriors) and Geoff Kumwenda (formerly Trojans) joining the side,” he said.
Chidaya said Mbeule was one of the consistent performers and was one of the leading candidates to win most valuable player award at the end of the season.
“This is also the first time after a long time that Cezobal is enjoying some sort of sponsorship from the cooperate world. Cezobal referees are being paid for officiating games courtesy of Buffalo Guards and TMRP Interprizes (PUMA Agents in Malawi),” he said.
Chidaya said Cezobal had also partnered with is HB Stationeries, who provide stationary, printing services as well paying individuals managing the scores and records bench.
“We have also identified a sponsor, who will honour star performers at the end of the season” he said.
The Cezobal general secretary said the first round was also a success after they held a referees clinic, which was conducted by Daud Suleman and Mike Fluke.
He said the second round is expected to start soon after the Independence Celebrations.