THE basketball men's national team coach, Addison Chiware, says today's match against Mozambique in the AfroCan Zone Six qualifiers will give them a reflection of how well prepared they are for the competition.
The tourney runs until Saturday at the City Sports Centre in Harare.
Zimbabwe are hosting both the AfroCan and AfroBasket Zone Six competition. In the men's AfroCan qualifiers, the hosts, Mozambique and Zambia will be battling for the sole ticket to the tournament.
The Zimbabwe's women side will take on Angola for automatic qualification and a wild card spot in the AfroBasket qualifiers. The hosts get the ball rolling today with the men's side facing Mozambique.
"We have done our strategies and, obviously, Mozambique are the fancied side here, they are the top seed, so we hope to unsettle them and hopefully win.
"It is crucial . . . it's kind of a moment of truth in terms of our preparation but it's also pregnant with first games jitters of a tournament.
"The first game, no-one is settled, so anything can happen. So, we hope we will settle early and also see what is it that we are doing right because, remember, we have to play them again," said Chiware.
The arrival of France-based captain Vitalis Chikoko yesterday also boosted Zimbabwe's camp.
"We were out of time because we started preparing seriously for this, maybe mid-month (May), and this is only like two weeks later."
Basketball Union of Zimbabwe president, Joe Mujuru, said while Mozambique were favourites in this tournament, anything could happen.
Team: Tawanda Chitsinde, Warren Tegama, Tatenda Maturure, Agrippa Masvisvi, Simbarashe Mungomezi (vice-captain), Allen Danga, Noah Penduka, Benson Nyatanga, Henry Chizah, Neville Chivhanganye, Everisto Pasipamire, Vitalis Chikoko (captain).