23 January 2007

ZIMBABWE : Six countries confirm participation in zone six B-ball championships

SIX countries have confirmed their participation at the Zone Six Basketball championships, which will be used as joint preliminaries for the 2007 All Africa Games and the Africa Cup of Nations.

The championships, to be played in Harare from February 24 to March 3, mark the return of Zimbabwe to the international scene after paying up outstanding affiliation fees owed to the Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) last year.
Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) interim chairperson Addison Chiware said Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and the hosts had all confirmed participation.
He said Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho were the only three nations yet to register their availability before the deadline next week.
“The deadline for the confirmation is January 22 and so far six countries have confirmed their participation at the championships.
“We hope the remaining nations will also confirm participation before the deadline.
“Angola will only be sending their women team as their men’s team have already qualified for the two tournaments by virtue of being the defending All-Africa Games champions and hosts of the Africa Cup of Nations,” he said.
Chiware added that Zimbabwe’s preparations for the Zone Six championships were already at an advanced stage.
“We have been consulting the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) with the view of getting help as you know that this is our first time to host games of such magnitude.
“Both the men and women teams have already started preparing for the tournament,” he said.
Two top teams, one men’s and the other from women will represent the Southern African region at the All Africa Games and the Nations Cup to be hosted by Algeria and Angola respectively.
Zimbabwe’s chances of qualifying for the finals of both tournaments are very bright especially given that Angola, who posed the biggest threat, will not be involved in the preliminaries.
The Africa Cup of Nations will be hosted by Angola while Senegal hosts the women in August.

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