In Summary

‘’We knew that Flowers are technically very strong and have great individual players.

Dar es Salaam. Arusha’s Pentagon volleyball team manager, Nicholas John, showered praise on his players after they beat hard-fighting Flowers of Shinyanga 3-2 in an exciting Nyerere Cup match on Thursday.

‘’It was a thrilling match. I think basketball fans at the stadium enjoyed it today,’’ John said shortly after the game at the National Indoor Stadium.

‘’We knew that Flowers are technically very strong and have great individual players.

“We wanted to make no mistakes but we slightly lost steam at one point, allowing them to briefly take command of the proceedings,” he said.

“But I don’t want to complain because we won the match. We changed some things later and the move paid dividends as it brought us more safety in our game. We are thankful for everything,’’ he added.

Basketball enthusiasts at the venue were on their toes throughout the end-to-end game as both teams played their hearts out in search of a win.

Despite the defeat, Flowers won many a heart for the way approached the game, especially in the first set.

They seemed set to down their opponents as they enjoyed the lion’s share of the set.

And team coach David Simon refused to blame his players for the defeat, saying they still have what it takes to win the title.

“My players have been impressive in this year’s tournament. I still believe they will remain positive on what they have to achieve in our matches,” the Shinyanga team coach said.

The tournament has been organised in honour of the Father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, who was a volleyball fan.

Organised by Tanzania Amateur Volleyball Association (Tava), the championship has brought together teams from Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and hosts Tanzania.

The teams have been pooled into three Groups. Group A comprises APR of Rwanda, Mjimwema, Nyuki, Chui and Makongo.

Mainland volleyball giants Jeshi Stars, Police, JKT and Kigoma are in Group B, while Group C consists of Tanzania Prisons, Arusha’s Pentagon and Shinyanga’s Flowers.

The winners of the tournament will get Sh1 million and a trophy while Sh500,000 will go to the runners up.