HomeSportZim basketball team impressed despite winning bronze

Zim basketball team impressed despite winning bronze

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ZIMBABWE basketball coach Sam Mutsvanga says he is overally impressed with the performance of the girls’ team at the just-ended African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under 20 Youth Games although he thinks there is need for better preparations for games of such a magnitude.

SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
SPORTS REPORTER

The local women’s team collected a bronze medal after beating South Africa 52-39 in the third and fourth playoffs at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair on Saturday.

Mutsvanga’s team played five matches, won three and lost two to eventual winners Angola and silver medallists Mozambique.
Just like the women’s team, the Zimbabwe men’s basketball team also grabbed a bronze medal.

Angola won gold in both men and women, while the Mozambique men were runners up.

Mutsvanga said although his team settled for a third place, but the ladies did enough to impress the technical team, particularly in their last match against South Africa.

“The game was OK. The ladies played a much disciplined game. We managed to stop South Africa from playing their normal fast rate game. They struggled and couldn’t score. In the end, it was very comfortable. It was an easier game for us than we had anticipated,” Mutsvanga said.

“We have got to prepare in time for such competitions. We need a lot of time to prepare for such games. These are very gruesome games because the girls were playing day in day out without getting enough rest. We have got to come up with a strategy to get the girls in camp earlier for conditioning and psychological preparations,” he added.

“In general, I think it was fatigue. They gave it all and were fully stretched against Angola and I don’t think they had ample time to recover because they had to quickly prepare for the next match. I think that is something we need to look at in future, to look at ways we can prepare the team for such tournaments which can be gruesome. I knew we were going to bring home something and having lost to better opposition I am satisfied,” Mutsvanga, a sub-editor with our sister paper Southern Eye, said.

Zimbabwe men’s team coach Tawanda Chitsinde was also overly happy with his team’s performance at the Games.

“I am actually more than happy because we have achieved what we wanted to in this tournament. We are closing the gap between us and both Mozambicans and the Angolans. We haven’t done it before, but there are some physically big guys also coming up for us in the team and they are slowly matching up with Angolans and Mozambicans,” he said.

The team grabbed bronze after beating South Africa 71-60 in the third and fourth place playoff.

Angola proved that they were the regional basketball powerhouses after coming from behind to beat Mozambique.

The losing finalists led 13-7 in the first quarter and were on top of the situation in the second quarter as they went into the break leading 22-18.

However, Angola came back in the third quarter for a 26-33 score before running away with the match 39-41.

Mozambique men led 13-9 in the first quarter and were down 23-28 in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, Angola finished on 40 points with Mozambique trailing by a point before they wrapped it up in the last quarter 49-54.

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