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Basketball teams go into camp

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The Zimbabwe men’s basketball team has started preparations for the 2011 All Africa Games qualifiers scheduled for South Africa early next year.

Both the men and women’s teams are expected to take part at the qualifiers which will double up as the African Nation’s Championships.

The All-Africa Games will be hosted by Mozambique in September.

In an interview with NewsDay yesterday, the newly appointed national men’s basketball team coach Ngoni Mkukula said: “We have finalised the provisional 32 man squad.

“We have finished the selection process and submitted the list to the union Buz (Basketball Union of Zimbabwe). During the selection process, we did not consider any factional affiliations as we want to select the best from Zimbabwean basketball.”

Buz competitions manager Simon Lawson said they had registered in both the women and men’s team categories at the regional tournament.

Women’s national team coach Ronald Garura who is based in South Africa is expected in the country next week to start preparations for the tournament.

Other Southern African countries that have so far confirmed participation at the tournament include Botswana, Swaziland and Zambia.

But a bitter power struggle in the country’s biggest province Harare Basketball Association (HBA) is threatening to disrupt preparations for the teams.

Two factions led by Roderick Takawira and Gilchrist Mageza have been running separate leagues after they clashed over procedures taken in the drafting of a new constitution.

This resulted in the Mageza faction being affiliated to BUZ while the one by Takawira has not been recognised by the basketball governing body.

Players under the Takawira-led faction were banned by Buz from competing in national tournaments.

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