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Zim remain upbeat after shocking Mozambique

France-based basketball star center Vitalis Chikoko

Zimbabwe men’s basketball team coach Kevin Ben has urged his charges to remain focused after they started their 2023 Fiba Africa Zone qualifiers with a stunning 71-57 victory against regional powerhouse Mozambique at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Hall 4 in Bulawayo on Tuesday evening.

France-based star center Vitalis Chikoko led the hosts superbly, scoring 20 points in addition to making nine rebounds and four blocks.

Chikoko was well supported by his teammates, with Junior Mutongoza managing nine points, one rebound while Tatenda Muturure chipped in with 8 points, two rebounds and one steal.

There were also some notable contributions from Noah Pendukah (7 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal), and Tatenda Tswatswa (8 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists) as the hosts put on an ultimate team performance to stun the pre-tournament favourites.

Mozambique’s top performer of the day was Jeremias Mtamjate, with 12 points and 3 rebounds. Pio Matos and Elves Houana worked hard on the rebounds, each one grabbing 7 during the game.

The crucial win over Mozambique sees Zimbabwe top the men’s standing ahead of their clash against Zambia on Wednesday. They will, however, have to be cautious as they advance if they wish to make it to the Fiba AfroCan in July.

  • Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielnhakaniso


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