03 October, 2023
26 November
23/10/2023
Review
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Suns go 2-0 after surviving Dolphins' fourth quarter siege

 

GABORONE (Botswana)  - Sunday's Group D action of the Road to BAL saw Zambia's Munali Suns take another step to secure a place in the Elite 16 Division East.

After dominating for three quarters and holding a 16-point lead, Munali Suns had to hold on for dear life to beat Dolphins Basketball Club 63-61 at the University of Gaborone Indoor Arena on Sunday night.

Suns have improved their winning streak to 2-0

A game-high 19 points and 17 rebounds by talisman Harrison Banda put the Suns on course for a first Elite 16 appearance. Banda was helped in scoring by American teammates Joshua Thomas (13 points) and Alfred Hollins Jr (11 points).

For the brave Dolphins, Paris Collins' 17 points, Botsile Ramabu (14 points) and Ezeka Omeka Jr (11 points) led their team in scoring.

Both teams would have arrived at the game high on confidence following their opening victories in Group D.

But the Suns got out starting blocks the quickest and looked an assured team in their attacks.

Forward Banda was a force in the paint, scoring eight points and making three free throws, and finished the first half with 11 points. The Zambians went into the half 35-25.

For the better part of the third quarter, the Dolphins kept themselves in touching distance, never letting the Suns widen the ten-point lead.

Joshua Thomas

Eventually, the Zambians seized the initiative and had a 16-point lead (58-42) at the end of the quarter.

Deep in the fourth quarter, the Zambians nearly saw their hard-earned lead crumble as the Dolphins put the pressure on. The Suns could only add five points, while the hosts scored 19.

It was a gallant effort by the Dolphins, while the Suns will thank lucky stars for this win.

JBC BOUNCE BACK

Zimbabwe's JBC gave themselves a fighting chance following their 70-55 victory over UNAM Wolves in the day's opening game.

UNAM, on the other hand, have only pride to play for in their final game against hosts Dolphins on Monday.

Innocent Zhomwa of JBC led all scorers with 19 points, while his teammate, Tashinga Chimba, scored 17 points and crashed eight boards.

JBC improved to 1-1 with a game left in the Gaborone's qualifier for the Elite 16 

JBC's win was no walk in the park, but they knew they had to shake off the disappointment of their opening-day defeat to the Dolphins.

Following their lethargic start in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Wolves, who finished 21-11 down at the end of the first quarter, showed some bite in the second (quarter).

Point guard Vetjitiraije Kauami led the Wolves in scoring with seven points and helped keep them in the contest at the end of the first half.

JBC, who held a 34-31 lead going into the second half, were led in scoring by centre Tashinga Chimba and power forward Innocent Zhomwa with eight points each.

JBC held a slim eight-point lead (49-41) at the end of the third quarter. In the final quarter, the Zimbabwean club asserted their dominance, scoring 21 points to the 14 points of their opponents. Zhomwa (11 points) and Chimba (nine points) were again the leading scorers.

FIBA