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Byo basketball clubs eye semis

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Bulawayo basketball club Kings, Giants and Lakers will fancy their chances of progressing to the finals of the National Basketball Club Championships at Bulawayo Club for the Disabled on Saturday.

The preliminaries were played in Gweru a fortnight ago.

The winners and the runners-up in both the men and women’s categories will earn a ticket to represent the country in the Zone VI Club Championships set for Zambia in September this year.

Bulawayo Basketball Association (BBA) spokesperson Charles Ndlovu on Thursday told NewsDay Sport that they are expecting a good performance from the Bulawayo teams.

“We have youngsters in the women’s team who include Yolanda Matayataya and Sibongile Mnkandla who are hungry for success. They will be our trump cards.

“We also have experienced players who include Sebastian Ndlovu and Nicholas Chipangura who can carry the day for us. We expect very tough and tense games,” he said.

In the men’s category Jewels Basketball Club from Harare face Kings in the first quarter-final encounter.

Mutare-based team Mercenaries will take on Harare opponents Varsity Leopards in another quarter-final.

Raiderz and Hustlers, both from Harare, clash in another quarter-final encounter while Heat and Unicorn from Gweru meet in the last quarter-final game in the men’s category.

The winner of the quarter-final tie between JBC and Kings will meet the winner of the Varsity Leopards-Mercenaries tie while the winner of the Raiderz -Hustlers encounter will face the winner of the Heat-Unicorn game in the last four.

JBC meet Raiderz in the first quarter-final game in the women’s division.

Giants take on Platinum Ballers from Harare while Lakers face Stormers from Harare in a quarter-final game.

The last quarter-final game will pit Varsity Leopards against Real Returners from Harare.

The winner of the Raiders versus Hustlers game will meet the winner of the Giants-Platinum Ballers game while the winner of the Lakers versus Stormers game will take on the winner of the Varsity Leopards-Real Returners game in the semi-finals.

Bulawayo will pin its hopes on reigning BBA champions Lakers in the women’s category who qualified after beating Highlanders 55-26.

They narrowly beat Raiders 43-40 and walked over Steelers 20-0.

BBA runners-up in the women’s category Giants qualified for the quarter-finals after they edged Varsity Leopards 43-29 before they walked over Steelers 20-0.

Giants and Varsity Leopards qualified from the Group B.

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