2 February 2017
SENIOR men’s basketball coach Emmanuel Mukandi is confident that the arsenal at his disposal will enable Zimbabwe to get past the upcoming FIBA AfroBasket 2017 Qualifiers and make a second appearance at the continental competition.
Mukandi made the remarks following the announcement of a strong 33-member provisional squad by the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ).
According to FIBA, the AfroBasket Qualifiers are set to be played between March 1-17 with a new format that will see teams playing home and away.
Participating countries for the 2017 AfroBasket Zonal Qualifiers are Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and Zambia.
However, the official dates and draws are yet to be determined by FIBA but Zimbabwe’s locally based players will troop into camp on February 10.
Mukandi told H-Metro that his expectation is to qualify for the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket Championship finals to be staged in Congo-Brazzaville from August 17-31.
“We are looking to qualify. Hopefully we are going to be seeded third and play at home. Our obstacles are going to be Zambia and South Africa.”
A glance at the provisional squad shows that high riding Harare City Hornets has the most players in the team that amount to 12 thus showing the impact that the team has made in the local basketball arena.
There are also eight big name foreign based players plying their trades in the United States, Japan and South Africa that also make up the squad.
Mukandi added: “We retained 90 percent of the players from the last qualifiers so experience is there.
We are very experienced, we have young but experienced players.”
Mukandi will be assisted by Innocent Sithole while Andrew Chitauro will be the team manager.
BUZ provisional squad
Point guard: Tawanda Chitsinde (Harare City Hornets), Moses Muyambo (Mercenaries), Denzel Mutyambizi (Egoli Magic –SA), Tichafara Mabhiza (Tshwane Suns –SA), Wishes Makomo, Nathan Warikandwa (both Harare City Hornets).
Shooting guard: Duncan Shenje (Harare City Hornets), Warren Tegama (Hustlers), Nyasha Ngove (Mavericks), Tawanda Tswatswa (Foxes), Mike Zvoushe (Giants), Noah Penduka (Oilers), Tinotenda Mugabe (unattached), Dumisani Moyo (Gladiator Knights).
Small forward: Tatenda Maturure, Simbarashe Mungomezi, Ben Nyatanga, Agrippa Masvisvi (all Harare City Hornets), Stenard Mapuranga (Western Cape Mountaineers), Kudakwashe Pote (Mercenaries), Fred Manyau Jnr (Missouri –USA), Tinashe Njovo (Dangamvura Knights).
Power forward: Julian Mavunga (Shiga Lakestars –Japan), Everisto Pasipamire (Tshwane Suns –SA), Kudakwashe Chimani (Harare City Hornets), Tondi Mushandu (Castleton University –USA), Shonhiwa Ushe (Harare City Hornets), Taurai Chitsinde (JBC).
Center: Brian Hore, Neville Chivhanganye (both Harare City Hornets), Vitalis Chikoko (Pau Lac Orthez –France), Andrew Gonese (unattached), Trevor Sanyatwe (Mercenaries).