THE International Basketball Federation (Fiba) has accepted the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe’s call to postpone the Under-16 Women Afro-Basketball Championships, which Zimbabwe is hosting, to pave way for the country’s harmonised elections.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Initially penciled for July 26 to August 4, the third edition of the continental basketball safari has been moved to mid-September this year.
Speaking to Standardsport, Team Zimbabwe general manager, Shinga Magede confirmed the latest development.
“We contacted Fiba informing them that the championships dates clashed with a very important occasion for the country and recommended a postponement and I can confirm that the dates have been moved to mid-September, but the actual dates are yet to be finalised,” said Magede.
“We appreciate what Fiba has done to allow us to go through a very important process for our country first; preparations are still going on in earnest and we now have more time to ensure we stage the best tournament,” he added.
This development should afford the Zimbabwe national Under-16 women side, making a maiden appearance at the championships, ample time to prepare for a competition in which they will face African basketball giants in the mold of Egypt, Angola, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Mali and Nigeria among others.
Twelve countries, including the hosts, will be battling it out to earn one of three berths available to represent the continent at the 2014 Fiba Under-17 Women World Championships to be held in Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Team Zimbabwe has named its squad ahead of the event.
Head coach Vivian Vareta declared that they have picked the best possible team from the available crop of players, notably team captain Crystal Nyauchi, Petra Mukondo who plays for national league side Raiders, Rufaro Ndokanga from Bulawayo, Tinotenda Nyunhete from Goromonzi, Green Star’s Mary Chawaipira and Cynthia Mambo.
Vareta was however cautious about his team’s chances of winning the competition.
“We are happy to be playing the best in Africa, at the highest level. We have the right team and it is very important for us to participate in such a prestigious competition. As of winning it, we really have a mountain to climb considering the quality of opposition but anything can happen. We will do our best,” he said.
Crystal Nyauchi (Capt), Petra Mukondo, Mary Chawaipira, Tinotenda Nyaunhete, Rufaro Ndokanga, Cynthia Mambo, Melody Chapwanya, Nomagugu Chiwuiza, Tracy Makovere, Emma Mokone, Christabel Sibanda, Claire Mutsinze, Nandipa Mabuse
Team Manager – Jacqueline Chironga
Head Coach – Vivian Vareta