Zambia: Basketball Team Qualifies

ZAMBIA has qualified for the 27th edition of the men's 2013 African Basketball Nations Championships (AfroBasket) championships slated for August in Ivory Coast despite losing the final Zone Six qualifiers to hosts Mozambique at the weekend.

The last time Zambia played at such a competition was back in 1989 at the finals hosted in Angola where the team finished second.

Zambia qualified for the finals by virtue of having reached the finals of the week-long championships held in Maputo that saw four countries taking part.

Botswana and the Seychelles were the two sides that took part after the withdrawal of other countries that include Malawi.

Other teams that have qualified include hosts Ivory Coast, champions Tunisia, 2011 runners-up Angola and Nigeria who finished third at the last edition.

Burkina Faso are Zone Three winners, Morocco and Algeria as Zone One and runner-up with Senegal and Cape Verde qualifying as Zone Two winners and runner-up respectively.

Central Africa Republic, Cameroun and Congo are from the Zone Four qualifiers. Egypt and Rwanda sailed through from the Zone Five qualifiers with Mozambique and Zambia making the 16 member teams to compete at the event that starts on August 21 in Abidjan.

Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) technical director George Sikalumbi said in an interview yesterday that International Basketball Federation (FIBA) wrote to the association on Friday informing them of the development.

"Actually the final game against Mozambique was in some way a preparatory game for the FIBA finals to be held in Ivory Coast.

"I think we need to sit down and strategise how best to prepare our team for the championships," he said.

ZBA president Boniface Kambikambi has expressed happiness at the team's qualification to the AfroBasket championship.

The team was expected back home last night.

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