Monday, April 22, 2024

Africell basketball tournament: SK West beat Manjai United 72-44, qualify for the semis  

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By: Dawda Baldeh

It was a night full of jubilation for the Serrekunda West Basketball team after beating their opponents Manjai United 72-44 at the opening of the knockout stage of the Africell-sponsored basketball tournament, qualifying for the semis.

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Eight teams are taking part in the tournament in which the winner will clinch a cash prize of D50,000 and a trophy.

Muhammed Kebbeh led his team Serrekunda West Basketball into 28 different points at the end of the fourth quarter of the game. Manjai United, that started the first and second quarter better than SK West, couldn’t maintain the momentum in the third and fourth quarter, allowing SK West to make a rapid comeback to finish with 72 points.

Speaking after the game, Muhammed Kebbeh, SK West Team captain said, “We are the best in the league and for the past five years we won three trophies in the Gambia Basketball League. For the knockout, we won it four times, so, we are the better side,” he said in a joyous mood.

All eyes are on the giant trophy and Kebbeh is optimistic that his team SK West will be the winners. Despite his side losing in the first and second quarter, Kebbeh said their opponents (Manjai United) lack the training and team work to maintain their points.

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“We did our homework very well and we have different plans for each game. We respect our opponents, but if you are playing with somebody and you understand their weak points, it will be easier.

This is basketball; if you are not smart you lose. It needs talent, teamwork but today our opponents (Manjai) were lacking team work,” Kebbeh added.

Kebbeh confidently said, “Winning is why we are here, trust me. Someone who knows the SK West basketball team will tell you that we always go for the trophy. It is not about the money but when you have a name you have to keep it. Everyone playing here wants to be in the our. We won last year and we are winning this year too.”

Reacting to his team’s defeat against Serrekunda West in yesterday’s encounter, Abdou Jobe, head coach of Manjai Basketball Team said his team lost control of the game and lacked the required fitness even after dominating the first and second quarter.

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“Since we were defeated in the knockout of the Gambia Basketball tournament, some of our boys missed attending training. Our opponents were training all along and that has been manifested in the game. My boys lost their energy very early,” he said, noting that basketball is a game of fitness.

Meanwhile, Hopes Basketball Team have also booked their place in the semi-final after beating Blue Dragons 78-74. Hopes and SK West have made it to the semis. Four other teams are expected to lock horns today June 14th of which two will join Hopes and SK West in the semis.

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