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Unicorn pulls out of Moza tourney


The Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) were on Friday dealt another blow after Unicorn became the second club to pull out of the basketball club championships to be hosted in Maputo, Mozambique, starting on Sunday.

The news of Unicorn’s pull-out due to financial constraints came barely a week after another club, Giants from Bulawayo, withdrew from the same championships citing the similar reasons.

Harare’s Jewels, Giants and Gweru-based Unicorn were supposed to represent Zimbabwe, but as things stand now only Jewels will represent the country in both men and women’s categories.

Jewels and Unicom were supposed to battle it out in the men category while Giants were to team up with Jewels in the women’s category.

Clubs from the host nation Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and from Africa’s best-ranked team Angola will converge in Maputo to fight for the honours.

Although BUZ director of competitions Simon Lawson said his union has not received any formal communication from Unicorn on their position, Walter Mabhena, the player-coach, insisted his club cannot fulfill the fixture.

“We wanted $25 000 for the trip but our sponsors said they were not in a position to raise such an amount. They said we informed them late,” said Mabhena.

This is not the first time BUZ have watched helplessly as teams pull out of the tournaments due to financial constraints.

Last week, the union was forced to withdraw the Zimbabwe men’s Under-18 basketball squad which was set to make their international debut at the 17th Afrobasket Under-18 championships in Rwanda.

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