Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE basketball national team skipper, Vitalis Chikoko, is expected to join his teammates next week as they prepare for the 2019 Afrobasket and African qualifiers.
The qualifiers will run from June 2 to 8 at City Sports Centre in Harare.
The national team started their preparations on Wednesday at the City Sports Centre but foreign-based players are still trickling in.
The main camp is expected to begin on Tuesday next week.
But Chikoko, who is currently involved in play-offs with his French club Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez, is only expected next week.
Yesterday, national team coach Addison Chiware said they could turn to Plan B if their skipper does not show up.
“We are prepared even if Vitalis fails to make it. There is a contingency plan. We have already lost Denzel Mutyambizi, who strained his ligaments during play-offs in Seychelles and will be out for six weeks,’’ he said.
“All the other players are in camp. Everisto Pasipamire has gone back to South Africa to finish his exams.
“He once reported for duty but had to go back for his presentation at the Wits University.
“Henry (Chiza) is coming from Malawi and Allen (Danga) from South Africa is already in the country.
“Tawanda Chitsinde is in camp but he had a medical check-up yesterday. He had a knee injury, so he did conditioning but we will monitor him closely.
“Tino (Robert Mugabe Jnr)) has a hectic schedule and, so, by tomorrow we will know about his availability. But if he is not available we have other plans.’’
Media Liaison for the Local Organising Committee, Carlos Munda, yesterday said some corporates have expressed interest in assisting the two teams.
“We have partnered Bachelor’s Republic to dress our technical staff and the two national teams.
“More partners are coming on board and it’s all systems go as we prepare for the qualifiers to see who will go to the continental show-piece,” said Munda.