HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review: Bucs and JBC play out one-point thriller; Forfeitures overshadow Women’s Day celebrations


What was billed as a day of pomp and fanfare for the HBA Super Six League ended up being a Women’s Day to forget, amidst rising tensions between the Harare Basketball Association and some franchises over payment of affiliation fees. 

Only four of the scheduled six games were played on Saturday the 9th, as forfeitures rocked the Women’s Division.  

Despite the tumultuous start to the day, the blockbuster between Bucs and JBC at 2000 ensured fans salvaged some satisfaction to go home with. 

In the end though, standings in both the Men’s and Women’s Divisions remained unchanged. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review, Zimbabwe Basketball
Action in the Gameweek 18 — Pictured is JBC vs Bucs game

Gameweek 18 Review: Men’s

Threepeat for Bulls 

In the first game of the Men’s Division, American-powered Mbare Bulls continued on their fine run of form, demolishing minnows UZ Stars 94-57 – their third win in a row. 

They made light work of bottom-placed Stars, who only led the first five minutes. Six players on the Bulls bench put up double-digit points. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review, Zimbabwe Basketball
Let the good times roll — Mbare Bulls continue on their good run of form [Image: Renda Media] 

Zion Fortune yet again topped the points tally with 20 points, while taking 6 rebounds. Takudzwa Zamani delivered 15 points, while Warren Tegama and Gilbert Maida both went home with 13 points. Not to be outdone, Tatenda Chapfika posted 10 points. 

On the Stars bench, it was Tamuka ‘Spida’ Chikanya (of course) and Chitendeya who led the futile chase, with 16 points and 11 points respectively. 

Hounds Bounce Back 

After a worrying slump in form in recent Gameweeks, Basket Hounds got their bite back against fourth-placed Leopards Academy. 

They never let up, leading the entire game and taking an 83-74 win in the end. Speaking to ZimSphere Sports after the game, Hounds coach Mr Nemutambwe had this to say about the much-needed win;

HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review, Zimbabwe Basketball
 Tactic talk — Coach Nemutambwe instructs his charges during the game vs Leopards 

“I obviously feel good after such a performance from the boys. We managed to execute our plan for the game, which was focused on attacking their (Leopards) mismatches.” 

The return of Innocent ‘Skiddy’ Zhomwa from injury has been a much-needed boost for the Hounds and the coach revealed his value in the tactical change he made getting into Gameweek 18. 

“The major change we made going into this game was playing Innocent on his usual Guard position and also playing Rolland (Changara) off the ball. This gave us more scoring options,” revealed Nemutambwe.

Innocent Zhomwa is surely back and better, taking 21 points and 10 rebounds in his second game back from injury. The coach showered praises on the 25 year old for his contribution, saying;

“The kid is amazing, he keeps growing. I’m loving his approach to the game now, he shows a lot of maturity. I can see that he now understands what it means to play for his teammates and help his teammates.”

Tavonga Muvezwa went home with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Rolland Changara delivered 16 points and 7 rebounds. Manyeza scored 10 points. 

On the Leopards bench, Munashe Makumbe did most of the lifting with 26 points and 6 rebounds, while Simbarashe Mungomezi put up 15 points and 7 rebounds.  

One point keeps JBC on Top 

The final game of the day pitted the top team in the Super Six against second-placed Bucs, who were the first team to shave points off JBC this season. 

This time around though, Bucs fell short of making it two in a row by just one point, losing 60-61 to JBC.  

HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review, Zimbabwe Basketball
Action takes a break in the JBC-Bucs game. Far left is JBC's James Chikuse. Center is Bucs' Munashe Gwenzi. Wearing No.34 is Tashinga Chiimba. Far right is Taimon Muroiwa.  

Bucs had started the game in the lead, but JBC warmed up as the game raged on. There were a total of eight lead changes and five times tied throughout the game, as both teams brought their A game to this top-of-the-table clash. 

It was, however, JBC’s 36 points in the paint and some questionable refereeing decisions that ultimately made the difference – just 1 point. 

Tashinga Chiimba continued on his superb form, scoring 24 points and taking 8 rebounds. Noah ‘Mr Reliable’ Penduka did his bid as always, finishing the day with 12 points in 34 minutes. 

On the Bucs bench, Fred Alick led the tally with 17 points, while Mike Banda impressed with a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Agrippa Masvisvi completed the double-digits with 12 points. 


After Gameweek 18, JBC are perched comfortably at the top of the Men’s Division with 32 points and a game in hand. Despite the loss, Arcadia Bucs are still second with 29 points, now three points off the top. 

Hounds are third with 28 points, virtually qualified for the National League, although Coach Nemutambwe was humble about his team’s standing, saying;

“Right now, we are still focused on surviving relegation as the log is too tense. We can’t afford to be in the comfort zone about our position, even though we are looking forward to getting that National League spot.” 

The bottom half of the standings comprises of Leopards and Mbare Bulls tied at 24 points, although Leopards have a game in hand; and UZ Stars anchored at the bottom with 20 points.

Gameweek 18 Review: Women’s

Bunnies, Hornets forced to forfeit

While the Men’s Division brought the action as always, Gameweek 18 in the Women’s Division was off to a false start as the first two games had to be cancelled. 

Very unfortunate, considering March 9 was earmarked for Women’s Day celebrations in the HBA Super Six League. 

It was bottom-placed Hornets and fourth-placed Bunnies that suffered from the cancellations, as they had to forfeit their games against Fillies and UZ Sparks respectively. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review, Zimbabwe Basketball
Training for? — Bunnies were forced to forfeit Gameweek 18 due to issues with payment of affiliation fees.

The bone of contention that resulted in the forfeitures stems from the non-payment of affiliation fees by the franchises, according to HBA Secretary General Tinashe Nyamuziwa. 

He revealed that although the Association is always understanding of the franchises’ arrears, the singled-out franchises were not sticking to their payment plans; which made it difficult for the smooth administration of the league. 

The forfeitures, therefore, came as an action of last resort; and not some unfair, arbitrary decision. 

That is the unfortunate reality of Zimbabwean sports, dogged by the double-jeopardy of a distracted audience (people would rather watch the NBA/EPL/IPL than support their own local leagues) and a perennially struggling economy (most corporates are more focused on survival to see sponsorship as a marketing tool). 

Franchises in the Super Six have obviously not been sparred, as most chairpersons have to fork out their own personal funds to keep their teams going, while players are more in it for the passion. 

It is this stark reality which became the major motivation for ZimSphere to start covering the HBA Super Six League. 

If everyone involved is not receiving immediate, material benefit for the efforts they are making to create a viable elite basketball league, at least let them be immortalised for those efforts. 

In a distant future when the League mirrors the reality of the NBA, let these men and women who sacrificed their all for the love of the game be remembered and honoured.     

Blades revenge Vixens

In the only game of the Women’s Division, played at the primetime slot of 1800; Blades got the revenge against second-placed Vixens, winning the tightly-contested game 62-51. 

The last time they met, only one point separated the teams as Vixens took the win. This time though, Blades came well-sharpened. 

Vixens managed to take the lead only once during the entire game, and their defence collapsed in the final quarter as Blades went on a 9 point scoring run that sealed the win. 

Thelma ‘Captain Fantastic’ Goredema posted 19-3-7 – just another day on the court for the star. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review, Zimbabwe Basketball
Star power — Thelma Goredema keeps impressing in the HBA Super Six League

Verna Malikabu delivered 16 points and 8 rebounds. 

On the Vixens bench, Memory Mataga posted a double double of 15-13-2 that is worth noting.  


The two forfeitures in the Women’s Division on Gameweek 18 ensured no movement on the standings. UZ Sparks are still top with 34 points, thanks to some free two points. Vixens are still second with 31 points after their loss to Blades. 

Blades are third with 27 points, cutting Vixens’ lead over them by a point. Bunnies sit at fourth with 24 points, third position now a distant dream. Fillies follow closely with 23 points, thanks to the two points bestowed on them, while Hornets languish at the bottom with 18 points. 

Gameweek 19 Preview

HBA Super Six Gameweek 18 Review, Zimbabwe Basketball
Gameweek 19 fixtures 

After such a depressing Gameweek 18, fans are hoping Gameweek 19 on Saturday 16 March will be a pick-me-up. 

The first game of the day pits third-placed Blades and fourth-placed Bunnies, two teams on opposite ends of the form spectrum. One thing is always sure though, you can never know what to expect in the Super Six. 

Second-placed Vixens will be looking to take their anger out on bottom-placed Harare City Hornets in the second game of the day. 

In the final game of the Women’s Division, Fillies are up against UZ Sparks. Considering both teams did not play during Gameweek 18, expect a high-scoring game. 

The first game of the Men’s Division is a David and Goliath affair versus leaders JBC and bottom-placed UZ Stars. No one is really expecting any surprises, but you never know. 

Leopards Academy are up against a rejuvenated Mbare Bulls. A win for Bulls will see them take fourth position from Leopards. 

In the final game of the day, second-placed Arcadia Bucs will be looking to recover from their loss against JBC when they take on third-placed Basket Hounds. This is a promising encounter, as Hounds will also be trying to make it two in a row.

Make sure to wind down this Saturday with the always entertaining basketball action of the Super Six only at Sunrise Sports Club in Belvedere. Games start at 1000 and end at 2100, and entrance is just $2. Full bar and catering is available. 

Post a Comment