14 January 2008

ZIMBABWE : BUZ to Host Three Regional Tournaments

by Paul Munyuki

The Basketball Union of Zimbabwe is lining-up three major regional tournaments in the first half of this year. The games will take place between April 5 and June 14 but the venue of the tournaments is yet to be decided.

This tournament will be the biggest basketball event since Zimbabwe hosted the All-Africa Games in 1995. Zimbabwe will host the Zone VI Fiba Under-18 Championships from April 5-12 before they host the women's Club Championships scheduled for May 3-10. A month latter Zimbabwe will also play host to the men's Club Championships from June 9 to 14.

And BUZ are also expected to bid to host the Under-16 championships that are expected to take place in July or August this year. But BUZ administrator Simon Lawson said their main efforts at the moment lie with the Under-18 sides that will begin preparations next Friday.

The preparations will begin with the trials selection in all the provinces with the trials expected to run for at most two days. "Our number one objective at the moment is for the Under-18 to qualify for the Africa Championships where one country per zone will qualify before the addition of the hosts, status call and runners up to bring it to 12.
"At the moment our main efforts are on the Under-18 tournament as we are also beginning preparations as it is also the closest event on our calendar. "Depending with the number of players or teams that would have turned up for the provincial trials, the selection process can go for two days with the boys on one day and the girls the other. "We are looking at hosting the inter-country Under-18 tournament, the men's and women's club championships but we are hoping that we will again win the bid to host the Under-16 championships. "The Under-18 tournament is set for early April before we go on to play hosts to the women's club championships and the men's tournament in June.
"In the recent past years the hosting of the club championships has largely been inter-changed between South Africa and Mozambique. "But it is very fortunate that we managed to win the bid to host these games and we are not ending there as we would also like to host the Under-16 championships as well.
"But the date for the junior tournaments are yet to be decided as the games are likely to take place between July and August," said Lawson.

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