By Prudence Phiri
SHELLS basketball team on Saturday beat Unza Honeys 65-60 to retain the national championship.
The game that was played at Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) saw Shells start on a shaky note and lose their first quarter 12-14.
Shells picked form in the second quarter of the game to record a 14-8 score to set themselves on a winning path.
Shells struggled in the third quarter and went down 15-20 before winning the final quarter 24 -18 to retain the title.
The games that had been played on the best of three format saw Shells beat Unza Honeys 95-60 in the first round played a week ago.
Shells coach Francis Mwelwa said the team was made to work hard to win the title.
He said Honeys were playing well and gave his side a good run.
''It was a tough game but I'm happy Honeys are playing well. This shows that there is progress in women basketball,” Mwelwa said.
He said his team would now focus on preparing for the Zone Six games, where they will represent the country.
“We won't lose track; we will continue training. We are representing the country at the Zone Six again this year. We need a lot of support, we need the corporate world to come on board and help us,'' Mwelwa said.
Unza coach Cuthbert Tembo said he was happy with his team’s performance despite losing.
“What matters is progress. Last season we only reached the semifinals and this year we have gone to the finals. It shows the team is developing and it’s a youthful team which has a lot of potential,” Tembo said.
In the men's category, defending champions Unza Pacers forced a third round play-off after they beat Matero Magic 78-74 on Saturday.
Magic beat Pacers 86-80 in the first round played a week ago but failed to replicate their performance to get the title.
Yesterday the two sides were locked in a final play-off to determine the ultimate winner.