HOOPS! with Kaona Mwembe
LUSAKA City Council Looters were in Zimbabwe a fortnight ago where they took part in the Harare Mayoral Invitation tournament.
They ended up K 15,000 richer after finishing runners-up ahead of compatriots Matero Magic a feat that spells a turning point for a side that struggled last season.
Lotters’ pathway to the final was crowned with a 69-68 win over Magic who were pre-tournament favourites of the event that took place at the City Hall.
It was a tournament that also ended with them contributing two players to the all- star team among them was Nalumino Simioti, a 2015 Basketball Without Borders camper with a promising future.
Currently in the men’s Midlands Basketball Association (MBA) league, Looters are among the top contenders for the championship and their Harare outing turns out to be a morale booster and their performance should send a message to their sponsors to dig deeper to support the team.
It is appreciated that the team is amongst the best dressed local side and also enjoys good sponsorship.
More resources should be poured in towards sustaining the path they are now going to ensure that they do not slide back to being strugglers.
In addition, club management should address itself to developmental issues such as creating a nursery to tap talent and develop players even with Junior Looters in the B – division of the MBA.
For the Paul Mwale-coached outfit [with support from ex Green Eagles coach Sankisa Chilwesa], their 2017 season start has been encouraging.
I have followed Looters progress and downward slide from the time they were formed the early days through the years they became one of the country’s most dreaded sides and it is good to see them steadily regaining their lost glory.
The council side won the inaugural East and Southern Africa Indoor Sports Federation Basketball Championships in Dar es Salaam 26 years ago marking their rise to prominence.
If that is anything to go by then good things are expected from them with so much to prove this season.
The improvement in performance of the men’s outfit should also on the other hand inspire women’s team LCC Lootresses who have also gone down the slide rule.
The women’s outfit should also rise to the occasion and let 2017 be a turning point by winning the MBA league so that they can have a basis of argument with their sponsors.
On the other hand, Looters have a lot of work to do at home and having done well in Harare their focus should be on earning the right to represent the country at next year’s Zone Six Club Championships.
That right will only come by being national champions – a mission possible provided there is discipline and focus in their quest.
It will be interesting to mark their ‘exam’ at the end of the season.
Have a blessed week!