Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
BULAWAYO is set to play host to the Fiba Afro Zone 6 Basketball Club Championships next month with 26 teams from the region scheduled to take part in the event.
Nine countries have so far confirmed participation in the tournament, these being Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho and hosts Zimbabwe The regional tourney is scheduled to run from 21 to 29 October.
Local Organising Committee general manager, Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu said the international basketball governing body, Fiba made the decision last week to give hosting rights to Zimbabwe.
“After being informed Zimbabwe had been selected to host the Club Championships, Basketball Union of Zimbabwe decided Bulawayo will host the event which has been lined up for the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre.
“ESwatini is the only country yet to confirm the number of teams taking part but we already have the list of clubs coming down from the other countries in the region,” he said.
The tournament gives each country four slots although not all countries will be sending that number of clubs.
Teams set to represent Zimbabwe at the event are last year’s men representatives, Harare City Hornets and Foxes while in the female section there is Harare-based Vixens as well as Lakers from Bulawayo with Mercenaries from Mutare on standby to be part of the event if Zimbabwe are handed a wild card.
The winners of the competition will head to the Fiba Africa Clubs Championships Cup where they will face other regional champions with winners from that tournament making it to the Fiba Club World Cup.
Basketball powerhouses, Angola and Mozambique will be sending four clubs each together with Zambia and Malawi while Botswana as well as Lesotho will send two teams apiece and South Africa has so far register one male team for the competition.
Ndlovu said they are faced with a huge bill of hosting the games and are already approaching companies to partner them host a successful event.
“We have already started engaging corporate and those interested can approach us as we want to have a great event,” he said.
Last year’s competition was held in Gaborone, Botswana with Ferroviario De Maputo of Mozambique and De Agosto of Angola emerging victors in the women’s section while Libolo and Inter Clube, who have won a record five regional titles, both of Angola conquered in the men’s category.