Davison Bhunu Sports Reporter
THE Basketball Union of Zimbabwe have dropped their star player Vitalis Chikoko and Simbarashe Mungomeza for the 2021 Afro-Basketball Group E pre-qualifiers that will be played at the City Sports Centre beginning today.
Zimbabwe are hosting Zambia and Madagascar to determine which country progresses to the 2021 Afro-Basket Qualifiers to be held in Rwanda. Team coach Addison Chiware made a few notable changes when he announced the team yesterday with France-based Chikoko and Mungomezi the notable omissions.
The duo was both captain and vice-captain respectively in the squad that defeated Mozambique in June last year. The team has retained Wits Basketball 2019 sportsman of the year Everisto Pasipamire.
Despite getting a late call regarding the hosting of the tournament, BUZ assistant spokesperson Carlos Munda said the Union is optimistic about the team’s chances of progressing to the next round.
BUZ are hoping the boys will take full advantage of playing in familiar home conditions and in front of their supporters.
“Yes, we received a late call that we are going to host the Afro-Basket Preliminaries but we want to win the games and progress to the next round. We are the hosts and we want to use the advantage of the home support,” said Munda.
The qualifiers will kick-off this evening at 6pm with Zimbabwe facing Madagascar. The Indian Ocean islanders will then face Zambia tomorrow. This will be followed by the derby between Zambia and Zimbabwe on Thursday. Zimbabwe and Madagascar will face off again on Friday for the reverse fixtures. And on Saturday, fans will be treated to another Zimbabwe versus Zambia clash. All the matches will start at 6pm.
Team Zimbabwe Squad
Guards: Nathan Warikandwa, Tawanda Chitsinde, Wishes Kakomo, Tatenda Tswatswa.
Small Forwards: Agrippa Masvisvi, Munashe Makumbe, Tatenda Maturure.
Basemen: Benson Nyatanga, Everisto Pasipamire, Henry Chizah, Nyasha Zamani, Taurai Chitsinde.
Reserves: Warren Tegama, Dyvone Pfachi