Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
SIX Zambian teams will participate in this year’s edition of the Bob @93 basketball tournament to be held next month in Harare.
Tendai ‘T-Buns’ Zhakata, one of the organisers, said the Zambian clubs which would compete at the Bob @93 basketball tournament are University of Zambia, Shells and Matero Magics who will each bring two teams.
The basketball festival held to celebrate President Mugabe’s birthday will be held after the men and women’s Afro-Basketball qualifiers respectively set for Harare and Maputo, Mozambique.
The women’s Afro-Basketball qualifiers will run from March 3 to 12, with the men starting on March 12 and ending on March 19.
“Everything is on course for the fifth edition of President Mugabe’s birthday celebration basketball competition. Six teams are coming from Zambia to compete with local teams from the country’s 10 provinces. The tournament will be held over three days. Our preferred date was the weekend of March 10 to 12 but we’ve been forced move it forward to soon after the Afro-Basket qualifiers which end on March 19.
“The reason for postponing the tournament to a later date is to afford the players who are products of the Bob basketball tournament to go and participate at the Afro-Basket qualifiers and do the nation proud,” said Zhakata.
He said his committee would decide on whether to host the tournament on the weekend of March 24 to 26 or March 31 to April 2.
Reigning men’s champions Harare City and the women’s top side, Vixens, are expected to defend their titles at the tournament.
Meanwhile, Zhakata said besides the basketball tournament there is also a schools’ festival which will see them competing in several disciplines.
The schools will compete in soccer, basketball, volleyball, chess, netball and handball.
“As for the schools’ festival, we will use last year’s venues. The dates for the schools’ festival will be announced in due course,” Zhakata said.
Just like the Bob @93 basketball tournament, the schools’ festival will be held over three days.
Last year organisers had Prince Edward as the command centre for the schools’ festival.
Some of the venues they used for the festival were City Sports Centre, Belvedere Teachers’ Technical College, University of Zimbabwe, Girls High School, Allan Wilson and Queen Elizabeth.