Zim aim for SA upset in AfroBasket qualifier

HARARE - The Zimbabwe men’s basketball team says they are confident of outclassing South Africa to qualify for the 2017 AfroBasket championships to be held in Congo-Brazzaville in August.

Zimbabwe travel to Johannesburg later this month to take part in the two-match play off against South Africa.

Emmanuel Mukandi’s side was in Group A of the qualifiers together with Mozambique, Botswana and Madagascar.

However, Madagascar and Botswana pulled out resulting in Zimbabwe and Mozambique playing against each other in another two-match play-off to determine the winner of the group.

Mozambique sealed automatic qualification to the tournament when they beat Zimbabwe 85-65 and 80-68 in the two matches held at the City Sports Centre in Harare.

South Africa were in Group A together with Zambia, Angola and Seychelles and finished second to reach the play-off against Zimbabwe. 

Zimbabwe captain Taurai Chitsinde said: “We are confident that we will win the game as we are more than prepared. We have great respect for how they play. South Africa is a good side and as a team we are excited to play a team we used to watch on television.

“Playing against them presents an equal opportunity to compete at their level and or preferably better to come out top of this and qualify for Congo.”

Already 11 teams have qualified for the 2017 AfroBasket tournament to be held between August 19 and 30.

These are Angola, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda and the hosts.

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