What you need to know:
- The team represent Tanzania in a group with the hosts Cape Town Tigers of South Africa, Dynamo, and Junior NBA Academy.
Dar es Salaam. Pazi Basketball Club have confirmed that they are ready to compete in the Basketball Africa League (BAL), which is expected to kick off next Monday in South Africa.
The team represent Tanzania in a group with the hosts Cape Town Tigers of South Africa, Dynamo, and Junior NBA Academy.
Pazi assistant coach Mohammed Mbwana said, despite missing their two international stars, they will be targeting to win three matches to secure a spot in the next stage of the BAL to be held in Senegal or Egypt.
Mbwana told The Citizen that they are ready for the South Africa event after undergoing intensive training.
"We expect to depart within these two days, with a contingent of 18 people, including 12 players, three coaches, team manager, doctor, and leader. However, we won't use our two injured foreign players,
“Due to this situation, we have added a point guard to fill the gap left by Luis Rucklin, and another player who plays the third and fourth positions, replacing Anthony Tsegakele.
“The two replacements, one from Rwanda and the other from the US, have already formed a good chemistry with teammates and are in line with the team's strategies set by the head coach (Henry Mwinuka)," said Mbwana.
"We are heading to South Africa with a winning spirit. Although it is our first time and we are going as underdogs, we have the goal of winning and reaching the BAL stage,” he added.
If Pazi win two group stage matches and the semi-final, they will secure the ticket to the next round of the Basketball Africa League next year.
According to BAL, top three teams in South Africa, besides reaching the final round of BAL to determine the champion, will each receive $75,000 (over Sh170 million) for their preparations for that stage.
"The stage we have reached is good, but we need to fight harder and set a record as the first Tanzanian team to reach this stage in basketball,” he said.