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South Africa edges short-handed Zimbabwe team

By on January 10, 2011 in News

Men: SA vs Zimbabwe

The first men’s game of the tournament was a thriller. Fans came out in droves to support their respective nations and the players did not disappoint.  South Africa started the game strong off the solid play of Fumani Marhanele, who scored 6 quick points in the first quarter of play. Early on in the game, nothing seemed to fall for the Zimbabwean team who dressed only 10 players instead of the normal 12.  The first quarter ended with South Africa holding onto a comfortable 21 – 13 lead. As their nerves calmed down and they got into the flow of the game, the Zimbabwean team clawed and scrapped at the deficit with some outstanding highlight reel blocks from the lanky Zimbabwean center Vitalis Chikoko (11). However, the two teams were trading buckets and the half time score was an uninspiring 35 – 29 in favour of SA. 

However, this game seemed to be a late bloomer as the two teams matched up in an exhilarating third quarter that featured dunks, put back dunks and one rim-rattling double handed slam by Vitalis Chikoko (11) that brought down the entire basket extension ala Shaquille O’Neal much to the delight of the Zimbabwean supporters, and the game being delayed for about 3 minutes while staff attempted to fix the rim. This seemed to ignite a third quarter surge that saw Zimbabwe pulling in to close out the third period down 50-51.

However, the South African team had other ideas and they went on a 13-6 run to start the fourth and after that the game never came within 8 points in the final 5 minutes. They held onto the lead despite the courageous play of their undermanned and undersized opponents. As exciting and highlight filled as this game was, both teams were sloppy in the ball handling department with SA turning the ball over 40 times and Zimbabwe coughing it up 30 times. Thabang Kwedi (9) was the high point man for South Africa with a monster 15 point and 8 rebound performance, while Tawanda Chitsinde (15) held up the fort for Zimbabwe with 15 points and 2 steals. Other notable performances were by Fumani Marhanele (10) for South Africa with 12 points, and Duncan Shenje with 13 points for Zimbabwe. Vitalis Chikoko also chipped in with 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks for Zimbabwe. The Stat-Sheet-Stuffer of the game was Thabo Letsebe (15) of South Africa who seemed to have his hand on every play with an efficient 9 points, 4 steals, 4 assists, and 8 rebounds outing.

Men: SA vs Zimbabwe

In the end, a gutsy performance by the Zimbabwean team fell just short and South Africa prevailed with a well balanced attack and composure down the stretch. Final Score: South Africa 70, Zimbabwe 62.

Quote of the game:

“You win some; you lose some, that’s the story!” – Simbarashe Mungomezi (8), Zimbabwe.

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Moollamaker says:

    Where the boxscore at?!

  2. Malazsb says:

    where can we catch the highlights??