TWO senior national basketball teams for both men and women will leave the country this afternoon for Mozambique where they are scheduled to compete at the 2013 Afro-Basket Zone VI qualifiers starting this weekend.
REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The Zone VI qualifying tournament will see Zimbabwe battling it out with fellow Southern African countries to qualify for the finals of the 27th African Basketball Nations Cup, popularly known as the Afro-Basket.
The men’s continental championships will be hosted by Ivory Coast later this year, while the women’s tournament will be held in Mozambique.
The women’s national side stands a very good chance of qualifying for the Afro-Basket as other regional powerhouses Angola and Mozambique have already qualified.
Mozambique qualified as the host, while Angola will be in by virtue of being the defending champions.
Other than Zimbabwe and hosts Mozambique, other countries which will be taking part in the Zone VI qualifiers are Seychelles, Swaziland, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana and South Africa.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe president Addison Chiware said the two teams were prepared for the tournament.
“We will be sending both our men’s and women’s sides to the Zone VI qualifiers which will take place in Mozambique at the weekend. The teams will be travelling by road tomorrow (today) and they should be in Mozambique before the start of the tournament.
“The teams’ preparations have gone very well and we are expecting them to do well and hopefully qualify for their respective tournaments,” Chiware said.
The women’s side is now under the tutelage of coach Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu, who took over the reins following the passing away of Ronald Garura. Ndlovu named a strong women’s side yesterday which includes players based in South Africa.
The men’s team will be coached by Spencer Nyamadzawo who was expected to name his final squad last night ahead of today’s departure.
Women’s team: Margaret Magwaro, Margaret Kanyimo, Rachael Makoni, Sharon Chamwarura, Geraldine Chibonda, Pretty Tinarwo, Dorcas Marondera, Charity Chigumba, Patience Chinhoyi, Fadzai Mabasa, Serena Chareka, Ethel Shaba, Natalie Pike, Cleopatra Manda