Midlands Basketball (MBA) President Maziko Phiri has commended basketball coaches for their contribution to growing the sport in the country.

Phiri said coaches had exhibited great dedication towards the game adding that it was evident in the game results recorded by game tacticians.

In an interview with Goal Diggers! Maziko appealed to coaches to ensure that they groomed younger players in order to avoid creating a gap when older ones retire.

“If you look at the top six teams in the league right now, the points difference is either two or three yet we are playing the second series. This is a clear indication that players are improving, all thanks to coaches. Coaches are doing so much to see that the sport is growing and it is encouraging. We are always making baby steps everyday and before we know it, basketball will be bigger than this in Zambia,” said Phiri.

And 2017 Midlands All Stars Most Valuable Player (All Stars MVP) Lubinda Simukonda said the top four finish in basketball had never been this unpredictable, saying competition had grown.

“This season is very competitive. This is a league that has three series and we are in the second one yet there has not been a stable table topper. There is no team that has maintained the first, second and third position on the table for more than a week. The league is now full of fresher blood and the competitiveness of it has intensified. It will be interesting to watch third series games as most of us will be battling to either win the league title or play in the championship,” said Simukonda.

Munali Suns tops the table with 24 points while UNZA Pacers and Green Buffaloes share the second place with 21 points. Looters and Matero Magic share the third position with 20 points while Hawks is fourth with 19 points.

In the feminine category, Green Buffaloes escalated to the top of the table with 23 points after beating long time rivals UNZA Honeys 72-64 and Magic Sparks 68-57. Sparks and NAPSA Breeze are second with 20 points while Honeys is third with 19. Hotspurs has 12 while Nishati Shells has 10. Lusaka City Council’s Lootresess are on the bottom with 9 points.