ZIMBABWE senior basketball team coach Ernous Katsaruware has described the withdrawal of six nations from the AfroBasket qualifiers as a blessing in disguise.
The AfroBasket qualifiers are set for March 7-12 and Zimbabwe have been aided by the withdrawal of Botswana, Angola, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia.
Zimbabwe will now duke it out with perennial rivals Mozambique and South Africa, for the sole ticket to the AfroBasket Championships scheduled to be held later this year in Mali.
“To be honest, it really is a blessing in disguise,” said Katsaruware. “For one, it has given us more time to iron out our game plan, which, thanks to the postponement, is now easier to narrow down. I believe the key to victory will rely on how we will handle Mozambique, who are tough opponents.
“We are basically on the same level, if not better, with neighbours South Africa and will fancy our chances against them. So if you look at it that way, it is just a toss-up between us and Mozambique,” he said.
The postponement of the competition has also given South Africa-based forward Sithabile Ngandini time to make the trip to Mozambique.
The forward was a major doubt for the games, after having gone back to school to sit for her exams. The 23-year-old was expected to now join camp on Friday.
The Zimbabwe women’s team was expected to leave for Mozambique yesterday.