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Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE senior national netball team opened the campaign to defend their title at the ongoing Pent Series on a positive note when they overcame hosts Namibia 52-51 in a close-contest on Sunday in Windhoek. Zimbabwe are the reigning champions.
They are fielding a strong team led by captain Perpetua Siyachitema and on Sunday they had to dig deep after Namibia gave them a good run.
The hosts were coming from a win against Botswana.
Zimbabwe’s coach Lloyd Makunde said it was a difficult game and a lapse in concentration almost got them into trouble.
“It was a tough game. But we managed to come out victorious. The team performed well and at one time we were up by 12 points then a lapse of concentration almost cost us the game.
‘‘But, as they say, a win is a win regardless of the scoreline,” said Makunde.
Namibia, Botswana and Zambia are taking part in the tournament.
Africa’s champions Uganda, who were earlier on set to participate, could not make it for the five-day series.
Namibia are now fielding two teams, including their developmental side, to make it a five-team competition as initially planned.
The Gems were scheduled to face Botswana late yesterday and today they are up against Zambia.
“Uganda never made it and were replaced by the Namibian developmental side.
‘‘It’s only Zambia now who are a threat to us.
‘‘We watched them play and we have worked on their strengths and weaknesses,” said Makunde.