Nelson Mabaso’s 33 points and Ernest Chewe’s 11 assists and 6 points guided Green Buffaloes to a 86-75 win over Matero Magic in week 14 of the Midlands Basketball Association (MIBA) league on Saturday.
The Combatants recorded their first win against Magic in the five encounters that the two had met in both the league and playoffs, thanks to their shooting guard Nelson Mabaso.
Mabaso came in after Humphrey Mwangula got substituted and it was not regrettable. Assists from Chewe were so well-timed that Mabaso managed to attempt 16 three pointers, notching 12. Supplemented by Lawrence Mubanga and Bright Chokolo’s tight defence, the youngerster despite his unfavourable height, also made notable drives that accumulated more baskets for the army side.
It was not a totally dry game for Matero Magic as their overly energetic and determined point guard Augustine Kainda kept replying to Mabaso’s three pointers until he managed to reduce the point difference to 8 from a wide 17. Fred Kaela supplied most of the assists to Kainda while Chongo Choona tightened the defence but to little success.
Magic shooting guard Fred Kaela was hopeful his side would do better against Buffaloes in the final serie( serie 3) of the league.
“We could have pressed from the start and not allow them to make cheap points out of our loose defence. They were clever enough to create shooting space for Mabaso and he was not missing. This is homework to us and I am positive we will do better in serie 3,” said Kaela.
Meanwhile, Buffaloes defensive forward Ernest Chewe could not hide his excitement over the victory.
“I think every team rejoices when it beats Magic. It is not easy at all and I’m hoping we will maintain the composure and creativity we had throughout the game and use it in remaining fixtures. We just need to work even harder so that we keep collecting maximum points. Our team has been maintained for four seasons so we should utilize this advantage,” said Chewe.
A top four finish in the league had never been this unpredictable since the past four seasons where it had always been Matero Magic, UNZA Pacers, Buffaloes and Hawks. The table lists Munali Suns, Pacers, Matero Magic and LCC Looters while the fifth and sixth positions are occupied by Hawks and Bulldogs that could easily escalate to the top four if they squared up on aggregate with the current top four teams.
In the feminine league, UNZA Honeys, Magic Sparks, Green Buffaloes and Napsa Breeze were still topping the table in that order. The weekend results were as follows in the senior league.
Munali Suns 86 and Hawks 75 (Musculine)
Unza Honeys 57 and Hotspurs 42 (Feminine)
Shells 39 and Green buffaloes 68 (Feminine)
Green Eagles 78 and Napsa 75 (Musculine)
Unza Pacers 84 and Lcc Looters 76 (Musculine)