Zim hope for wildcard entry to Afrobasket qualifiers

Africa Sport

Charmaine Chasweka

Zimbabwe is hoping for a wildcard entry to the Afrobasket final qualifiers after failing to top their group in the pre-qualifiers played in Harare.

Zimbabwe’s chances were dealt a major blow after they lost 78-55 to Madagascar in the first qualifying match played at Harare Sports Club.

Coach Tawanda Nemutambwe said they were hoping to be awarded a playoff berth after finishing second in their pool.

“We came second so yes we still have a chance and we are most likely going to host the next round.

“Despite the defeat, we still managed to finish second in the group which was not such a bad position.

“This means we can still get the wildcard to the main qualifiers,” he said.

The team selection prior to the tournament was heavily criticised but the coach says their bad showing cannot be attributed to the identity of the players in camp.

“We do have the right players, we actually invited almost everyone but this time around most players pulled out due to other commitments so they couldn’t come for practice.

“But I strongly feel the team we had this time is the best at the moment.

“I think we lost it on execution otherwise everything else was on point.

“The other issue that affected us was that we had limited time to practice. We only had five days max to try and polish up and make sure people were in shape which happened to be our major setback,” he said.

Despite the shortcomings, the team has a very vibrant junior policy and this time around managed to accommodate six players, the likes of Munashe, Wishes Kakomo and others.