By Trevor Makonyonga Sports Reporter
Guard, Tatenda Maturure and Centre, Everisto Pasipamire led Zimbabwe to a huge 26 point win against Zambia in their second match of the Afrobasket preliminaries played on Thursday night at the City Sports Centre in Harare.
Zimbabwe won 80-54 in a dominant and very slick display of basketball.
Both Maturure and Risto were active on both ends of the floor as they registered double doubles. Maturure hit 23 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists while Everisto got his second double double of the tournament with 14 points, 16 rebounds and 3 assists.
It was Maturure’s court awareness that won Zimbabwe the game as he managed to come to the party as he ran for 37 minutes and never steamed off
Everisto seemed to have corrected his errors on turnovers from having had recorded seven against Madagascar to recording zero in Thursday’s game.
Point guard, Tawanda Chitsinde, was very comfortable with the ball and was attacking swiftly and he attempted shots on a regular menacing the Zambian defense and managing to pocket 4 of 8 three pointers to add on in his 15 points.
In the first half play was very slow and it seemed as if the game was heading to a low fulltime score but alas, Zimbabwe flipped to brighter pages of form in the third quarter where they took a 14 point lead with the third quarter score being 55-41.
The coach was very tactical not making rushed rotations like in the previous game against Madagascar.
Zimbabwe was solid on defense too with the team recording 13 steals and 8 blocks. Bench players also came to the party scoring 20 points with Henry Chizah on 9 points and 5 rebounds of the bench. Nathan Warikandwa was also superb defensively coming off the bench as he managed to steal three possessions and to rebound 5 times.
Team coordination was extremely visible and formations both on defense and offence were clear.
Zambia had only one player, Chongo Chona, in the double digits with 11 points and 9 rebounds while Titus Njovu had 11 rebounds and 9 points as they both missed out on double doubles.
It seemed to be a pretty bad day for Zambia as they earlier on lost to Madagascar in overtime as they had played to an 84-84 draw on Wednesday night. The OT was then played in the morning at the City Sports Centre and Madagascar won the match 98-91.
As it stands, Madagascar has won 2, Zimbabwe has won 1 and Zambia is yet to win.
On Friday night, Zambia play Madagascar, Zimbabwe plays Madagascar on Saturday and Zimbabwe will cap the tournament in a showcase against Northern neighbours, Zambia. All games start at 6 pm and the venue is the City Sports Centre.
If Zimbabwe maintain form, the game against Madagascar will be interesting.