ZIMBABWE will have to wait for the play-offs of the AfroBasket qualifiers to pursue their hopes of securing a ticket to the championships in August after losing to Mozambique in the qualifiers at the City Sports Centre yesterday.
The two countries met over a two match series played on a home and away basis over the weekend after Botswana and Madagascar pulled out in Group A.
Mozambique won both matches, overpowering Zimbabwe 85-65 yesterday and 80-68 in the first game on Saturday.
Zambia will hold Group B matches from March 26 to April 3 with Angola, Seychelles and South Africa taking part.
The top teams from the groups automatically qualifies for the championships while the second placed teams meet in the play-offs to decide the takers for the third slot.
And Zimbabwe are now waiting for the results from that group to know the identity of their opponents in the play-offs.
Coach, Emmanuel Mukandi, said with better preparations they can pull through when they go for the play-offs.
“I think it’s not over yet, the qualifiers. So we just have to go back on the drawing board. I think we need more preparations. Our preparations are not adequate, we don’t have any friendly games (and) we don’t camp as often as we want to.
“So I think we have got three weeks before we play number two from the other group. So those three weeks we really need at least a minimum of five days in camp as a group. The chances are high. From the look of things we are going to play either Zambia or South Africa and we are stronger.
“Mozambique is a tougher team, they are ranked number one so we knew it was a tough order,” said Mukandi.
Tatenda Maturure scored most points for Zimbabwe with 17 points while Warren Tegama weighed in with 14. Noah Penduka had 10 points.
For Mozambique Francisco Macaringue led on his side with 17 points and Orlando Novela had 11 points.
Yesterday’s match was graced by the First Lady Dr Amai Grace Mugabe, her daughter Bona and son-in-law Simba Chikore as well as the Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane.
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Supa Mandiwanzira and several MPs were also among the guests at the game.
Mozambique took the lead from the onset leading 19-7 in the first quarter and 50-26 in the second.
They remained with an upper hand leading 73-42 in third quarter to win the match 85-65.
Mozambique assistant coach, Jose Delfino, said they had an easy game yesterday compared to Saturday.
“Zimbabwe yesterday were strong but they got tired and today we came better we got into the game very easy we had an easy game today. We did things we were supposed to do yesterday but they gave us a (tough) game yesterday not today.
“We don’t take anybody lightly and Zimbabwe are a tough opponent . . . so we compete, we came to get a win, we knew Zimbabwe was strong,” said Delfino.
Zimbabwe: Taurai Chitsinde, Tawanda Chitsinde, Simbarashe Mungomezi, Tatenda Maturure, Warren Tegama, Noah Penduka, Brian Hore, Nathan Warikandwa, Shoniwa Ushe, Neville Chivhanganye, Tinotenda Mugabe, Agrippa Masvisvi.
Mozambique: Elvis Extremo, Francisco Macaringue, David Canivete, Hleton Ubisse, Augutso Matos, Amarlindo Matos, Ermelindo Novela, Inelcio Chire, Octavio Magolico, Orlando Novela, Luis DeBarros, Ercio Mula.