BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
Defending league champions Platinum Queens dominated the third bubble matches in Harare at the weekend.
The Zvishavane side had a tough assignment against Harare City in the capital, but took a comfortable 52-32 victory.
BTTC and Zupco Queens were also part of the bubble.
Platinum Queens coach Simbarashe Mlambo acknowledged the strength of their rivals despite the flattering scoreline.
“We have always had an upper hand on them (Harare City), but they are a good team they are very experienced and they have been doing very well. We gave them the respect they deserved but at the end of the day we just needed a victory which we got at the end,” Mlambo said.
“The day was very tough but the girls lived up to expectations. I thought they were going to be a bit complacent but they rose to the occasion and definitely they did it very well. The strategy was very simple, starting with the young girls who are upcoming and do what they can and just finish off putting icing on the cake with the girls that are the regulars and the girls that have been playing in the national team. They gave us a 20-goal lead which we are very much comfortable with.”
Ropafadzo Mutsauki, the Harare City gaffer, who doubles as the national team coach, said the team’s performance was on good despite the defeat.
“The team played well, we played as a team but we lost to a better team. Platinum is a good side and as Harare city we are still on rebuilding exercise. Our challenge is that when we build a team, two or three players leave the team and as a result, we end up rebuilding over and over again,” Mutsauki said.
“As a team which had a long time without playing competitive games, I can say we have improved and the players are proving that they have confidence that for the second round we might end up being one of the best teams.”
Meanwhile, other PNL teams clashed in Chisumbanje, Murehwa and Shamva as the 2022 championship race continues.
Harare bubble results
Harare City 72 v Zupco Queens 18
BTTC 5 v Platinum Queens 110
Zupco 42 v BTTC 38
Harare City 32 v Platinum Queens 52
Zupco 10 v Platinum Queens 98
Harare City 54 v BTTC 13
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