MEN’s basketball clubs Harare City Hornets and Foxes from Harare as well as ladies’ teams Lakers (Bulawayo) and Vixens (Harare) have been selected to take part in the 24th edition of the Zone Six basketball club championship qualifiers to be held at the ZITF in Bulawayo next month.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The tournament will run from October 20-29 at ZITF Hall 3 and will involve clubs from Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and eSwatini.
The general manager of the local organising committee of the tournament, Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu, who is also Basketball Union of Zimbabwe’s technical director, yesterday pronounced the dates of the qualifiers and the local teams to take part.
He said they expected Mercenaries, a men’s club from Mutare to take part in the competition on a wild card ticket.
“Zimbabwe was on September 13 mandated by FIBA (International Basketball Federation) to host the qualifiers. Each country is supposed to send in four clubs (two men and two women’s teams). The tournament culminates into the FIBA Africa finals and the top two teams go to the FIBA club championships. We are expecting about 26 teams to come,” Ndlovu said.
Two top teams in the women’s category will proceed to Mozambique on November 9 for the continental finals, while the top two in the men’s sections will roll into the first edition of the Afro League.
“FIBA is introducing a new format. They are starting what is referred to as an Afro League. The two top men’s teams are going to play an inter-regional league that involves the top teams from each region. They are going to be put in groups in a format that is familiar to the Champions League in football. The top two in this tournament are going to join the winners in the five zones for the Afro league. The actual dates for the start of the Afro League have not been announced,” Ndlovu said.
Angolan clubs, Premiera Augosto (men) and Interclube (women), the defending champions of the club championships, are expected in Bulawayo next month.