HBA Super Six Gameweek 14 Review: Bucs leapfrog Hounds, Bunnies maul Fillies


As we approach the end of the third round of games, the quality and competitiveness in the HBA Super Six League keeps improving, as teams fight to retain their positions in the elite league. 

In Gameweek 14 played at the Sunrise Sports Club, Arcadia Bucs walked away as the biggest winners of the day, although they only needed three points; while new girls Blades tasted their second defeat of the season at the hands of the experienced Vixens. 

After a thoroughly entertaining Gameweek, the standings in the Men’s division saw a switch of positions between Arcadia Bucs and Basket Hounds; whilst the Women’s Division standings remained unchanged. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 14 Review: Bucs leapfrog Hounds, Bunnies maul Fillies
Up the Bucs! — Arcadia Bucs defeated Basket Hounds to jump up two places to second place. 

Gameweek 14 Wrap: Super Six Men's 

In the first match of the Men’s Division, Mbare Bulls defeated regular runts UZ Stars 89-64. Although UZ Stars put up a decent fight in the first half, they capitulated in the third quarter, scoring a meagre 7 points and sealing their fourteenth loss of the season. 

A trio of players who joined Mbare Bulls from JBC in January shined. Dyvonne Pfachi scored 18 points and provided 6 assists. Kudakwashe Pote went home with 13 points, and Takudzwa Zamani delivered 10 points. 

Maida clinched the first double-double of the day with 12 points 13 rebounds; while Warren Tegama posted 11 points. 

Despite the loss, there were still some impressive stats from the UZ Stars’ bench. 

Chikanya, as always, delivered 13 points for his team, while Chitendera posted 11 points. Coming from injury, Brendon Muvaka could not be outdone. The Small Forward showed his value, scoring a double-double of 11 points 12 rebounds.

In the thriller of the day, it was only three points that set Arcadia Bucs and Basket Hounds apart. After a scintillating 40 minutes, the final score was 72-69 in favour of Arcadia Bucs. 

It was indeed a neck and neck encounter with 14 lead changes and 3 times tied. 

Hounds went to halftime in the lead, but Bucs turned on the heat in the third quarter. Speaking to ZimSphere Sports after the game, Bucs head coach Mrs Viv Manuel expressed her delight at the last gasp win, saying; 

“Winning against Hounds, it’s such a good feeling, considering the Hounds team plays hard and hunt as a pack. We chased a 13-point lead, the guys dug deep and made me proud.”

The Iron Lady of the Super Six — Viv Manuel is the only female coach in the HBA Super Six

She attributed a defensive shift getting into the second half, as well as Hounds’ slipups; as the main reasons for the win. 

“We improved on our defense and worked hard as a unit. We also made them make mistakes and we capitalized on their errors,” said Manuel. 

All starters on the Bucs bench managed 10 points and above. Ex-JBC Point Guard Panashe Kaduya scooped the third double-double of the day, posting 15 points and 11 rebounds. Wishes Kakomo scored 12 points, while Blessing Mlambo went home with 10 points. Not to be left out, Mike Banda delivered a double-double of 10-11-4. 

Point guard Fred Alick has been a cog in the Bucs’ machine, and unsurprisingly, he managed to play the entire game. After such an impressive 17-point performance, Coach Manuel had glowing words for Alick, saying; 

“He is a workhorse that gives his 100% all the time. Alick is an asset and gem to have in our team.”

Main man Innocent Zhomwa scored 14 points, matched by ex-JBC Guard Roland Changara. The Hounds bench had its own double-double man - Tavonga Muvezwa with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

JBC proved a hard team to beat for Leopards Academy. The 71-60 thriller was Leopards’ to lose as they capitulated a 15-point lead they had at the beginning of the second quarter. In the third quarter, leaders JBC brought the action – scoring 26 points whilst restricting Leopards to a mere 7 points.  

HBA Super Six Gameweek 14 Review: Bucs leapfrog Hounds, Bunnies maul Fillies
DEFENSE!! — Scenes from Saturday's JBC and Leopards game

Blazing hot Tashinga Chiimba posted his second consecutive double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. 

After a player exodus in January, vice-captain Noah Penduka has quickly established himself as the heartbeat of a revamped JBC. He played 38 minutes and posted an impressive 17-4-5. Muroiwa rounded up the stars of the day with 13 points and 3 rebounds. 

On the Leopards bench, Tatenda Matuture continued on his fine form with a 15-10-2, whilst Simba Mungomezi delivered 14 points. 

However, and possibly why Leopards ended up losing, Matuture picked up a calf injury in the fourth quarter. At the time of publishing, the Leopards camp had not fully established just how long Matuture will be out. 

Arcadia Bucs’ victory over Basket Hounds ensured their leap from fourth to second with 22 points. Good for them, but they might have just handed JBC the title on a silver platter, as the leaders now stand at 27 points — five points clear. 

After both taking losses in Gameweek 14, Basket Hounds and Leopards Academy are now tied at 21 points; and are third and fourth respectively. 

Mbare Bulls’ win over UZ Stars sets them apart from the bottom. They now have 17 points, whilst UZ Stars are still anchored at the bottom with 16 points.

Gameweek 14 Wrap: Super Six Women’s

In the first game of the Women’s Division, Bunnies took advantage of their new-found form to blow away Fillies 74-40. In a show of dominance, the fourth-placed Bunnies only gave up the lead once - in the second quarter. 

Having recently joined Bunnies from has-beens JBC, Shooting Guard Fadzai Munongo outshined everyone in Gameweek 14, scoring 28 points and taking 7 rebounds. She was, however, quick to heap praises on her teammates for making her shine, telling ZimSphere Sports;

“It was the momentum and trust I got from my teammates that made everything easier. I will allude everything to a great team performance.” 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 14 Review: Bucs leapfrog Hounds, Bunnies maul Fillies
Teamwork makes the dream work — Bunnies teammates Fadzai Munongo (left)  and Mary Mutengo (right)

Fellow Shooting Guard Mary Mutengo also impressed with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Power Forward Kudzai Muringazuva showed her defensive prowess by taking 11 rebounds, whilst also contributing 6 points to the Bunnies’ tally. 

The second game of the day was a blockbuster between second and third placed teams; Vixens and Blades. In the end, Vixens showed their experience, beating the new girls by just one point to end the game at 43-42.  

It was clear that Blades were the better team on the day, but they slowed down in the later stages, scoring just 6 points in the final quarter. Their defeat came in the last 5 minutes, when Vixens went on a 10-point scoring streak to snatch the game at the death. 

The outstanding player on the Vixens bench was Mucucuti, with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. 

For Blades, Thelma ‘Captain Fantastic’ Goredema endured the entire game, delivering 17 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. The usual.

Blades’ Power Forward Victoria Makamure completed the double-double list of Gameweek 14 with 10 points and 14 rebounds. 

In the final game of the day, log leaders UZ Sparks demolished bottom-placed Harare City Hornets 81-34. No surprises there. 

Shooting Guard Tapiwa Verengai scored 25 points and took 8 rebounds, Chikowore finished the day with 15 points.  

The standings in the Women’s Division remain unchanged. UZ Sparks still lead with 26 points, followed closely by Vixens with 25 points. 

Blades’ loss leaves them hanging onto third by a thread with 20 points, tied with fourth-placed Bunnies. 

Fillies are fifth, two points off Bunnies with 18 points, but they are miles ahead of bottom-placed Harare City Hornets who have managed to earn just the participation points – 14 points. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 14 Review: Bucs leapfrog Hounds, Bunnies maul Fillies
Place-holders — Harare City Hornets are yet to pick up a win in the Super Six League this season. 

Gameweek 15 Preview

Tomorrow is Youth Day! Spend the holiday while watching your favourite teams juke it out at Sunrise Sports Club in Gameweek 15 of the HBA Super Six League. Games start at 1000hrs.  

In the first game of the day, cellar-dwellers Fillies and Harare City Hornets battle it out for honour’s sake. Hornets will be looking to take their first win this season, while Fillies will be looking to bounce back from their Gameweek 14 loss to Bunnies. 

In the blockbuster encounter of the day, new girls Blades are up against in-form Bunnies. The two teams are tied at 20 points each, so this will be a winner-takes-all thriller. 

The final game of the Women’s Division also promises to be an entertaining encounter, as log leaders UZ Sparks are up against second-placed Vixens. Vixens will be looking to go level with Sparks, while Sparks will be hoping to extend their stay at the top. 

In the Men’s Division, log leaders JBC are up first, against bottom-placed UZ Stars. We can only hope that the dominating JBC will go easy on Stars, who are still yet to pick a victory in the Super Six this season. 

In the second game, Basket Hounds will be looking to recover from their Gameweek 14 loss when they take on fourth-placed Leopards Academy. 

When they met in Gameweek 8, only six points separated them, with Leopards going home with the win. Seven Gameweeks later, the stakes are even higher, as both teams are tied at 21 points. 

In the final Gameweek of the day, second-placed Arcadia Bucs take on fifth-placed Mbare Bulls. Both teams will be looking to continue with their good form and consolidate their positions. 

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