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MBA hosts Zone One play- offs

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MBA hosts Zone One play- offs

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FUNGAYI MUNYORO-
CHINGAIRA

MUTARE-Basketball lovers are in for a treat as Manicaland Basketball Association (MBA) is hosting the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) Zone One play-offs at Mutare Boys High School Recreation Centre.
MBA president Tonderai Shasha told Mirror Sport that the province is ready for the three day basketball fiesta which began today (Friday).
The country is divided into two zones; zone one consisting of Manicaland, Harare, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central.
Zone two has Bulawayo, Midlands, Matebeleland North, Matebeleland South and Masvingo.
All provinces have a league and the top teams qualify for the zonal playoffs. The top six male and six female teams from both zones then proceed to the national finals.
Shasha added that the national finals are slated for May 26-28, 2023 at City Sports Centre in Harare.
“We are more than ready for the games and are excited to be hosting this tournament. The main venue for the games will be Mutare Boys High School Recreation Centre and we will also use Florida Social centre as our second venue,” he said.
Shasha said he is happy with how the sport has grown over the years.
“We have six referees from Manicaland who will be part of the twelve referees officiating the games. This shows that we are growing as a province. Out of the eight table officials, six are from Manicaland.
“Mercenaries and Dangamvura Knights were the only two teams which have been representing the province for some time, the greatest development is seeing the new boys in the league Sakubva Hurricanes qualifying for the playoffs as well as the comeback of former Manicaland powerhouse City Saints, led by former national team players Dion Manyange and Moses ‘Zimo’ Muyambo, this good for Manicaland basketball,” he said.
Diamond Mavericks and Swishers will represent Manicaland in the women’s category.
Harare will be sending three male teams and three ladies teams.
Mashonaland Central will be represented by Bond Tigers and FJ Academy in the male and female categories respectively.
Mashonaland East and West have failed to take part in this year’s Zone One games.
In the men’s category, Harare Foxes are the defending national champions while JBC ladies are the defending champions in the ladies category.
Mutare powerhouse Mercenaries lost to Harare Foxes in the national finals played in Bulawayo last year and coach Innocent ‘Stolz’ Sithole said there are ready to fight again.
“Zone One games will be a test. We have prepared well, but you can never be prepared enough. We hope to come up victorious and proceed to the national finals,” said Stolz.

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