HWANGE Heats clinched the Matabeleland North Basketball League unbeaten, with no team presenting any threat to the champions throughout the season.
Hwange Heats shrugged off competition from second-placed Lions and Ghetto Magic, who also capped the season as one of the best teams to emerge in the game.
The mix of young and experienced players at Hwange Heats proved to be the right tonic to retain their title.
The inclusion of experienced players such as Timothy Sakala, Benjamin Mpofu and Simbarashe Munamba boosted their campaign.
Matabeleland North Basketball chairman Pendrick Ndlovu said although the league seemed easy for Hwange Heats, they are pleased with the way young players performed.
“This has been one of the most competitive leagues over the years. We congratulate Hwange Heats for their continued dominance on the court. It shows that they are a determined side. Other teams also played a part in upping the standards of the competition. What is pleasing is the fact that we now have a lot of youngsters that are interested in the game,” said Ndlovu.
Having earned the berth to represent the province at next weekend’s National Championships in Harare, Hwange Heats should be one of the teams to look out for.
For the past three seasons, Hwange Heats has won all that was played for in the province, with their biggest letdown being in national competitions.
Ndlovu believes the future of basketball in the province is bright.
“It might seem like there is no competition here, but if one looks closely, they would find that Mat North is still one of the few places where basketball has a lot of untapped talent,” he said.
“Once again we give thanks to all the companies and individuals that rendered support to us. Financial support remains critical as most of our teams find it hard to cope.”
Meanwhile, Matabeleland North Basketball plans to hold a mini workshop in Hwange before schools open for the second term as a way of encouraging learners to take up the game and form clubs at their schools.
According to Ndlovu, there are also plans to introduce a vibrant provincial league in schools.