The Sunday Mail
THE Basketball Union of Zimbabwe inter-provincial finals, held in Masvingo over the Easter weekend, turned out to be a battle between old foes, Harare and Bulawayo.
The two provinces competed in all four finals and the spoils were shared.
Seven provinces turned up for the annual event, which saw Bulawayo taking gold in the senior women and Under-18 boys categories while Harare won the senior men and Under-18 girls.
In the Under-18 girls category, Harare beat Bulawayo 37-26 in the final and went on to beat the same province 34-15 in the senior men’s final.
Not to be outdone Bulawayo beat their rivals 28-19 in the senior women’s category and 33-23 in the Under-18 boys’ final.
BUZ athlete’s commission president Shinga Magede described this year’s edition as a success.
“We are really pleased at the increase in numbers at this year’s edition of the games,” he said. “We have been trying to spread the game more and the fact that Masvingo did such a good job on debut at hosting and that so many provinces showed up is truly pleasing.
“I do not have actual numbers of the previous editions on me but its public knowledge that apathy marred the previous editions as only Harare, Manicaland, Midlands and Bulawayo showed up consistently.
“There is still a lot of work to be done, in that regard, but we are pleased that at least results are starting to show as this year we had seven out of the 10 provinces.”
The inter-provincials were also used as trials for the country’s four top national teams.
“As you are well aware, the main purpose of this year’s Inter-provincials was mainly to select the national teams that will represent us at the AfroBasket qualifiers,” said Magede.
“We have complied provisional lists for the Under-18 boys and girls teams, which we will release in the coming weeks as we await action plans from the respective coaches.
“In the meantime, we will engage FIBA Africa with the intention of trying to get a clearer picture on the dates and venues of the games.
“Our coaches have expressed their desire for this matter to be resolved first, as it will enable them to come up with a proper action plan which will include training camps, travel arrangements and friendlies.”