Savio gear up for zonal tourney

28Sep 2016
Japheth Kazenga
The Guardian
Savio gear up for zonal tourney

DAR ES SALAAM basketball giants, Savio, have expressed their intention to go all the way and lay hands on silverware in this year’s Africa Zone Five Club Championship slated to start in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

Savio cruised to a 65-56 win over ABC in a friendly match played at the National Indoor Stadium in the city early this week.

Both sides used the game as part of their preparations for the continental tournament. Tanzania will, as well, be represented by Don Bosco Lionesses in the event’s women category.

Savio’s secretary general, Abdulkadir Issa said his team has prepared well and is keen on lifting the trophy.

Savio’s friendly against ABC saw the former lead 20-14 in the first quarter but the latter regrouped in the well-contested second quarter to take a 16-15 lead.

Savio, nevertheless, regained control of the game in the subsequent two quarters to eventually emerge victorious.

Savio’s Pascal Minja finished as the team’s top scorer with 20 points, in which he slotted in six three pointers out of eight attempts.

Foreign professional, Arlell Okall, also excelled for Savio in the friendly, in which he put away 12 points, took eight rebounds and had six blocks. Okall, who features for Abu Dhabi’s Bahrain basketball club, will feature for Savio in the forthcoming tournament.

ABC’s Erick John was the team’s top scorer with 15 points, followed by Juma Kisocky and Filbert Mwaipungu with 12 and 11 points.

Issa said Savio have substantiated their intention to win the tournament by excelling in a series of friendly matches played in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma recently. In the other friendly played in Dar es Salaam Savio registered 62-53 win against Oilers.

Savio then went for a four-day camp in Dodoma, in which the team also played several friendly matches.

The Dar es Salaam basketball big guns cruised to 55-31 win over Dodoma Spurs 55-31 and later commanded a resounding 62-43 victory in the game against Don Bosco Trainouis.

Issa said his team has bolstered its quest for the top honour in the Africa Zone Five Club Championship by acquiring the services of two professionals, Brian Mramba from Mombasa, and Okall.

Issa disclosed Savio are still seeking financial backing, in which the team has approached over 25 companies but the latter have yet to respond to the team.

He said the team has hardly been discouraged by the situation as the outfits hopes the companies will pour support.

The Savio official moreover, requested Tanzanians to put their weight behind the team as the outfit represents the country in the continental tournament.