Mercenaries Basketball Club and Harare City Hornets won the just ended Basketball Union of Zimbabwe National Championships held in Mutare over the past weekend. Mercenaries from Mutare won the Men’s competition while Hornets won in the Women’s categories.
In the first final of the day, Hornets flew off to an early 15-6 lead in the 1st quarter en-route to an impressive 58-27 victory over a spirited Lakers team. The Harare giants were firing well as led in every quater. At half time the score was 31-14 in favour of the Harare outfit.
Happiness Maroto poured in 13 points while Patience Chinhoyi weighed in with another 10 for Hornets while 3 players from Lakers all scored 6 points each in the contest. Hornets had beaten out Vixens 64 – 44 in the Semi Fianls while Lakers overcame Greenstars 57 – 46 in the second semi final.
In the Men’s contest, Mercenaries displayed maturity and effectiveness led by veterans Innocent Sithole and Solomon Muradzikwa. Trevor Sanyatwe led all scorers with 21 points as the Mercs took home their first national title. The Mutare side becomes the first team from outside Harare to win the coveted title since Giants from Bulawayo in 1999.
P. Kashishi of Foxes matched Sanyatwe’s 21 points with 21 of his own in an effort to win the day for the Harare team. The game was exciting from start to finish as Mercenaries led from the start. At half time, the Mutare team led 40 – 29 eventually finishing the game with a healthy 75 – 60 victory. Peterson Muchakubvura put on a stellar performance for Mercenaries that saw him named MVP.
Mercenaries walked away deserved champions after having seen off Bulawayo champions Mavericks 70 – 33 in the Quarter finals before edging out Harare giants Hornets 60 – 52 in the Semi Finals. The finals brought the curtain down on this year’s National Championships played in a new format.