Ellina Mhlanga, Harare Bureau
WITH less than two weeks to go before the Afrobasket qualifiers begin, the senior women’s basketball team coach Erinos Katsaruware says they are making progress ahead of the event in Mozambique.
The qualifiers in Maputo will run from March 3 to 12.
The senior women team had their second camp in Bulawayo over the weekend and the coach had the opportunity to assess the players in a match situation when they took on a Bulawayo select side.
“It went very well. We started on Friday night where we had a physical fitness practice. We had the whole day on Saturday and ended with a game against Bulawayo select.
“Physical fitness, we are getting there but in terms of combinations we have to improve. Some of the things we were working on (during) practice were coming out very well but we need to improve on team play. But so far we are getting there.
“The difference in this camp is that we had an additional player from South Africa, Stabile (Ngandini). It was a great opportunity to play for the first time as a team.
“We won but really it wasn’t about the score for us because really we were rotating the players to see who is doing what. We were trying combinations,” said Katsaruware.
The team regroups on Saturday for their final camp before their departure on Wednesday.
“We have to go back to Bulawayo this Saturday to start another camp until we travel. It will be Saturday up to Tuesday, so we will do four days before we travel.
“As a national team we are always under pressure. In terms of fitness it won’t help if we do fitness in those four days, so it’s really working on combinations, game situation, gelling of the team and play more friendly games.
“Then we have been watching videos of Mozambique and South Africa so that we can counter their play that is if their play is still the same. South Africa it’s a team we can beat. If we are really focused, South Africa and Zambia they are the teams to beat. We need to beat them,” Katsaruware said.
The team will be captained by Alexandra Maseko. Charity Mucucuti is the first captain and Geraldine Chibonda is the second vice-captain.
Final Team: Yolanda Matayataya, Geraldine Chibonda (second vice captain), Stabile Ngandini, Sibongile Mkandla, Melissa Majonga, Emma Makoni, Francisca Sekete, Getrude Mapiye, Dorcas Marondera, Charity Mucucuti (first vice-captain), Margaret Kanyimo, Alexandra Maseko (captain).