Zim teams for Fiba Champs

HARARE - Zimbabwean basketball sides are gearing up for the Fiba Afro Zone 6 Club Championships set for Gaborone, Botswana later this month.

Harare Hornets, who are the national champions, will be joined by Foxes, who were last season’s runners-up and women’s national champions Green Stars and runners-up Mavericks from Bulawayo for the regional tournament.

The annual tournament is scheduled from October 20 to 26 with teams from the Southern region set to take part at the annual basketball event.

Last year’s title went to Angola in the men’s category while in the women’s category, the trophy was won by a team from Mozambique.

However, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (Buz) president Addison Chiware is confident local teams will triumph this time around.

“I’m sure we will give them a good run for their money this time around. It’s important that the teams that will represent the country have thorough preparations for this tournament,” Chiware told the Daily News.

“The good thing is that the HBA season kicked off last weekend and I’m sure it will help them shape up.

“You also look at the teams that are going to represent us, they are very competitive sides and I have no doubt that they will do well.”

Hornets kicked off the defence of their title in style by overcoming Cheetahs 33-37 last weekend at the City Sports Centre.

The council-owned side came into the game on the back of lifting the inaugural Harare Mayor’s International Basketball challenge in August.

Hornets were crowned champions after beating Zambia’s side Looters 53-36 in the final of a tournament which saw over 30 teams from across the region taking part.

Hornets chairperson Sani Mbofana said they are not leaving any stone unturned in their quest for the Fiba Afro Zone 6 Club Championships.

“We are looking forward to the tournament. The boys are motivated and we are doing all we can to ensure the team will be ready when the tournament kicks off,” Mbofana said.

“Our season kicked off just last weekend and we are still to reach our pick but hopefully, by the time we travel to Gaborone we will be in a better position to challenge for honours.”

The competition in Botswana will include both men’s and women’s teams that have won their respective leagues, and also those that took finished as runner-up.

Participation of four teams is therefore, expected per country with the tournament also serving as the preliminary qualifiers for the Africa Club Championships.

The top two teams in each category in Botswana will secure a ticket for the continental competition.

Thereafter, the top two teams at the Africa Club Championship will play in the World Club Championships Cup.

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