BEIRA (FIBA U16 Women’s African Championship 2017) – Despite losing their first two games, debutants Zimbabwe are looking to post a surprise result when they face record champions Mali on Monday at the Ferroviario da Beira Stadium.
We know that we are going to face the defending champions Mali and that they are a very strong team and a powerhouse. They also have very tall players, however, we shall approach this game in search of victory and try to play off transition.”-Kufeketa
If that was the only merit required to register victory then Zimbabwe could be obvious winners but this will be determined over four quarters in central Mozambique, far away from any familiar setting back home in Harare.
Tadiwa Mabika, Maria Mutengo and Samantha Jemwa have stood out for Zimbabwe so far and if they reproduce these performances against Mali, perhaps they will have a chance against the West Africans.
“We know that we are going to face the defending champions Mali and that they are a very strong team and a powerhouse. They also have very tall players, however, we shall approach this game in search of victory and try to play off transition,” Zimbabwe head coach Clement Kufeketa told FIBA.basketball
Mali, who rested on Sunday, come into this match with their usual hunger to win every game that they partake in and against Zimbabwe, routine it will be.
“So far so good for us. We won our first game convincingly and now we must continue with this same spirit. We respect all our opponents. Even though we are defending champions, it is not obvious that we shall win all our games at this edition,” said Aboubakar Diallo, Mali assistant coach.
Mali have won a remarkable four trophies since the inaugural edition in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 and will be gunning for their fifth.