JKT might have finished their campaign of the Dar es Salaam regional basketball league on a high by beating Vijana 68-49 over the weekend, but complacency remained the main reason behind their failure to retain the title.
JKT, who were among the league’s favourites right from the early stages, looked to have been carried away by overconfidence. They lost two crucial matches against unheralded sides of Oilers and Pazi that had seriously devastated their title retention dream.
Having already conceded the two defeats midway through the league, JKT staged a resurgence campaign eyeing the semifinal berth having won all of their matches thereafter but inferior goal aggregates pushed them on the sidelines.
JKT finished level with Oilers and Pazi on 21 points, the teams that came third and fourth, respectively, in the league but the defending champions were rocked by the two defeats.
JKT rue their decision to leave it too late to seriously attempt the title defence.
With a host of talented players than the rest in the league, JKT were a team that could easily force opponents into submission with tight marking and plenty of attacking options. Surprisingly JKT underestimated Oilers and Pazi’s prowess to leave them off the hook with title retention bid slipping through their hands easily.
Gifted point guard Frank Kusiga, three-pointer exponents Charles Makene, Mkumbo Mgendi, Francis Mlewa, Frank Simkoko and other lethal weapons Juma Kisoky and Tumsifu Apollo made JKT a force to reckon with for the past three years, but failed to inspire the side towards the podium finish.
JKT could obviously be breathing heavily before the neck of pace setters Savio had the holders deployed the fighting spirit akin to the one they displayed in matches against rivals ABC and Vijana, winning convincingly.
JKT’s female counterparts, JKT Stars, who also endured an equally embarrassing campaign after losing to Don Bosco and subsequently miss on the finals of the women category, need to offload their aging players should they wish to rediscover their winning heroics next season.
A third place play-off is all JKT Stars have to fight for on Saturday and the team ought to raise their game if they harbour hopes of defeating Police Dar es Salaam in the match.