The Midlands Basketball Association (MBA) has attributed the delayed start of the MBA league to the recently held national and provincial elections.

The Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) recently held elections.

MBA chairman Maziko Phiri also attributed the delayed midlands league to the delayed 2017 season as well as the international championship Zambia held recently.

Phiri said in an interview yesterday that MBA has compressed the 2018 fixture to ensure all games are played on time and allow players to rest for the 2019 season.

He said Zambia Police-sponsored side Wolverine and Magic Warriors are the new clubs that have been promoted to the MBA leagues.

“I must mention that these new clubs have younger and tougher players that are capable of beating longer existing clubs in the super league,” he said.

Meanwhile, The first league games for the 2018 season have revealed more surprises than the Midlands basketball norm.

Munali Suns beat Hawks 61-51 in their first game of the 2018 league.

Munali Suns coach Martin Muchena said his side does not underrate any team in the league hence the maximum points he collected.

“I always advise my boys to play every game like it is a final. I make them understand that they are no longer regarded as young players by bigger and longer existing clubs,” said Muchena.

He underscored the importance of motivation for players to remain focused.

His side comprises young players that are given either jobs or study scholarships based on performance, behaviour and dedication to the game.

Muchena also noted the behavioral challenges that his young players pose, and ways to overcome them.

He said it is important to look at things from the players’ perspective and implement appropriate responses to their off court challenges.

Hawks attributed their loss to incomplete transfers.

Coach Osward Kalamba said three players have left the club.

“Our bench only has two players because some have incomplete transfers and others have worked out deals with bigger clubs,” he said.

In other games, the army sponsored Green Buffaloes narrowly escaped a loss to Napsa Hurricanes with seven points difference, a trend that repeated itself in the women category between Green Buffaloes and Napsa Breeze.