16 November 2006

ZIMBABWE : Harare Basketball League Side Raiderz Still to Taste Defeat

ALL seems to be going on well for Harare Basketball League side Raiderz who are dominating both the men and women leagues, writes Paul Munyuki.

After three weeks of action, the sides, coached by Ngoni Mukukula, are in pole positions without a defeat in their games.
At the weekend the men's side dismissed Golden Spurs 85-39 while their female counterparts overpowered Highfield Assassins.
Mukukula -- a dedicated coach with a passion for his game -- believes their success is all because of hard work.
"We have been working hard and as you know if you work hard you will reap the results of your work.
"The good thing is that we are working as a team.
"In the boys' team we now have quick guards and that is where I believe we managed to beat Jewels but on the other hand Jewels had stronger forwards and we faced problems, especially against Artwell Dzikiti.
"It might be too early for us to judge but the games will definitely get tougher as the season progresses because we are still in the early stages of the season and other teams will also be watching us," said Mukukula.
He, however, conceded that the face of the league has changed this year following the dissolving of some of the teams that used to boost competition in the HBA
"The league has definitely changed because teams like Cameo, Celtics have since dissolved and these sides added a lot of competition in the league.
"But there is still a long way to go in the games because we are yet to meet some of the giants because Kingdom Cavaliers, Varsity Leopards and Mufakose Hawks also play good basketball," said Mukukula.
Their victory against rivals and pre-season favourites -- Jewels -- was sweet.
"Jewels have been a tricky side to us in the past season or two and they had got into our minds and this made it difficult for us to beat them.
"But we told ourselves that we needed them out of our minds and we went into the game not thinking of what they were going to do to us but what we wanted to do to them and we conquered.
"Cavaliers are also a quick side and we have to work hard so that when we meet them we will be prepared for anything.
"The women's side is having a new lease of life and they are also working hard and the results are now being confirmed.
"They are training hard with the boys and that has transformed the team into what they are now."

A-League: JBC 71, UZ Stars 50; Kingdom Cavaliers 26, Mbare Bulls 20; City Wolves 44, Varsity Leopards 56; Stormers 46, Maxifix Pross 48; UZ Stars 61, Mbare Bulls 46; Golden Spurs 39, Raiderz 85.

B-League: Drifters 57, Pistons 55; Nuggets 46, Sigauke 70.

Women: JBC 78, UZ Stars 34; Pistons 35, UZ Stars 37; Highfield Assassins 11, Raiderz 114.

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