NEW: Gems in tough opening clash

08 Nov, 2021 - 18:11 0 Views
NEW: Gems in tough opening clash

The Sunday Mail

Veronica Gwaze

ZIMBABWE senior netball team will tomorrow face continental favourites, South Africa, in their opening encounter at the African Championships in Windoek, Namibia.

The game will kick off at 1pm.

The African Championships tournament will see 10 nations battle for continental supremacy.

South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana have joined the other six nations that contested for the Pent Series title last week.

Despite being faced with a mammoth task in the opening encounter, Gems head coach, Lloyd Makunde, is unfazed.

South Africa – who are the continental powerhouse – are ranked fifth globally, while Zimbabwe are ranked 12th in the world on the International Netball Federation standings.

“This is a huge challenge, but we are ready. South Africa is a powerhouse, and we need all the mental strength to stand up to them.

“We have to capitalise on every little chance we get, every turnover counts in such matches and the best we can do is to cut supply to their shooters,” he said.

Gems captain, Felisitus Kwangwa, will lead her troops, and will leverage on her consistency and the experience she has gained at her English base, Surrey Storm.

Makunde said Kwangwa has an excellent leap (vertical up), which will work to the advantage of the team.

“Felisitus has the experience, the ability to hold the team together and the strength to motivate her charges and that is pretty much what we need,” said Makunde.

“However, we do not want to exert too much pressure on our defence for survival, we have set up a tight and fast mid to cut supply for the opponents.”

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