HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review: Bobo powers Hounds past Bucs; Sparks too strong for Fillies


Gameweek 19 of the Super Six started two hours late on Saturday the 16th due to an untimely tragedy that befell the JBC camp, leading to the postponement of the JBC-UZ Stars fixture. 

The highlight of the five games that were played has to be Sydney Bobo’s blistering career-high of 35 points that led his rejuvenated Basket Hounds to a 20-point win over Arcadia Bucs. 

In the Women’s Division, the dominating trio of Sparks, Vixens and Blades continued on their fine form to secure victories that solidified their positions at the top half of the standings. 

The Men’s Division had its fair share of movers and shakers, as Hounds snatched second position from Bucs; while Mbare Bulls hopped to fourth after taking their fourth consecutive win. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association
Points galore — Sydney Bobo's 35 points made all the headlines in Gameweek 19 [Image: Renda Media]

Gameweek 19 Review: Men’s

Another JBC match postponed

Log leaders JBC now have two games in hand, as their Gameweek 19 fixture versus bottom-placed UZ Stars had to be postponed on late Friday afternoon. 

This was due to the untimely passing of JBC Head Coach Addison Chiware’s mother - Gogo Nyaradzo Chiware. She was 75 years old. 

In the spirit of humanity, the HBA administration decided to allow the JBC camp and the Harare basketball community at large to celebrate the life of Gogo Chiware. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association
Power of community — The Chiware family's appreciation message to the Harare basketball community 

A date for fulfilment of the postponed fixture will be announced in due course, according to HBA Secretary General Tinashe Nyamuziwa. 

Bulls make it four in a row, charge to fourth

In the first of the Men’s Division games that were played, Mbare Bulls took their fourth win in a row – an 85-79 triumph over Leopards Academy. 

Bulls started the game on the backfoot, going to halftime trailing by 6 points. They, however, turned on the heat in the third quarter – taking it 27-14. This turning point proved to be the nail in Leopards’ coffin, as they capitulated the game even though they took the final quarter by 2 points. 

We caught up with Mbare Bulls head coach Tapiwa Madzima after the game, who was obviously elated; but cautionary as always. 

“It's always great to get the win, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said. 

Madzima gave his tactical analysis of the hard-fought victory as follows;

“Our guys started slow but also credit to Varsity they had a brilliant first half the shooting was on point. 

"Tactically we needed to step up on defense and also take better care of the ball we turned over the ball too cheaply we needed to make better decisions and we ended up doing so.”

The win takes them to fourth, within an earshot of qualifying for the National League - if they manage to win all their remaining games. 

Madzima, is however, focused on putting in the work on the court using his talented troops.  

“At this point we can only concentrate on working hard and focusing on the next game the table will sort itself out. 

"We do believe we can pull it off (National League qualification). We have a group of very talented players, with the right attitude they can achieve anything,” he concluded. 

For Gameweek 19, his talented troops surely did not disappoint. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association
Towering above — Zion Fortune delivered another dominating performance for Gameweek 19

Zion Fortune came off the bench to play 33 minutes and power Bulls to the win. The towering Fortune scored 31 points and took 10 rebounds, his first double-double in the Super Six. 

Dyvonne Pfachi did justice with a 19-6-3. Gilbert Maida took home Bulls’ second double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Warren Tegama rounded off the double-digit points with a 13-5-3.

On the Leopards bench, Munashe Makumbe led his charges with 33 points and 7 rebounds, while Chris Nadolo and Simbarashe Mungomezi managed 12 and 10 points respectively. 

Hounds defeat Bucs, thanks to Bobo’s career-high 35 points 

In the blockbuster game of the week, Basket Hounds took the energy from their Gameweek 18 win over Leopards to deliver a masterclass performance against Arcadia Bucs that ended 96-76.

Hounds had a blistering start to the game, taking a 13-point lead in the first five minutes. Bucs led a spirited fightback in the second quarter, but all their efforts were decimated in the third quarter as Hounds took it 34-17. The final quarter was essentially a dead rubber affair, although Bucs won it by 5 points. 

Both teams brought their A game to this matchup, but it was Sydney Bobo’s career-high 35 points that ultimately made the difference. The 25-year old Point Guard played the entire game and delivered a sublime performance that powered his side to victory.

Speaking to Zimsphere Sports after etching his name in the history books, Bobo couldn’t fully capture the feeling of delivering such a performance, managing to only say; 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association
Suffering from success — Sydney Bobo powered Hounds to a resounding win over Bucs, and second place

“I'm feeling excited putting up those numbers, it’s quite a feeling.”

Although the stat sheet gave him all the credit, Bobo admitted that the win (plus his 35 points) was a team effort that had been practiced meticulously in preparation for Gameweek 19. 

“My teammates deserve all the credit, they did an awesome job in handling the task at hand. We approached this game with much confidence, hunger and trust in each other. We executed what we did at practice, knowing the result we wanted.

“I can say knowing my teammates better puts me in position where I can combine with them all. Everybody helped me put on that performance, it's a collective effort,” he explained. 

Surely, the Hounds were just hungrier for the win on the day, as starman Innocent Zhomwa went home with 16 points 8 rebounds; while Rolland Changara delivered a double double of 14-11-7. Tavonga Muvezwa put up a laudable 23-6-6. 

The Bucs bench had its own double-double from Mike Banda who scored 20 points and took 12 rebounds. Taurai Kazembe went home with 17-9-9, while Fred Alick matched him with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Panashe Kaduya delivered 11 points.


HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association

Both games played in Gameweek 19 resulted in shifts in the standings that will make for a nailbiting end to the 2023-2024 HBA Super Six League. 

Hounds’ triumph over Bucs gave them the leap onto second position. The two teams are now tied at 30 points. 

Bulls’ win over Leopards pushed them to fourth with 26 points, one point above Leopards who still have a game in hand. 

The two teams which didn’t play remain firmly settled in their positions. JBC are first with 32 points and two games in hand. UZ Stars are bottom with 20 points and now, a game in hand. 

Gameweek 19 Review: Women’s

Blades keep on purple patch

For a franchise that joined the fray midseason, Blades have proved that they are here to stay as they took their third consecutive win – a 77-55 drubbing of fourth-placed Bunnies. 

HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association
Charging on — Blades (in blue) continue in their fine run of form [File photo]

When they met in Gameweek 15, they were essentially rivals vying for third position. Blades narrowly won that game 42-39, just 3 points making the difference. 

This time though, Bunnies seemed like a shell of themselves, as they started strong in the first quarter but faltered for the remainder of the game. 

Blades took 27 points from turnovers, and led for over three quarters of the game (31 minutes) and even had some extra fuel in the tank to go on a 15-point scoring run in the final quarter. 

Of course, the superstar duo of Thelma Goredema and Verna Malikabu made sure to deliver, scoring 18 points and 16 points respectively. Point Guard Tanaka Zvinake also impressed with 12 points in 25 minutes. 

On the Bunnies bench, the duo of Fadzai Munongo and Maria Mutengo put in the work, scoring 24 points and 12 points respectively. 

Vixens make light of Hornets

It seems Harare City Hornets will be playing in the Harare A League next season, as they suffered their seventeenth loss of the season – a 49-32 humbling by second-placed Vixens. 

Vixens, who won the 2022-2023 Super Six Championship, barely broke a sweat against the cellar dwellers. They dominated the entire game, and took a 20-point lead at some point during the game. 

Hornets did find some sting in the final quarter – taking it 12-11. This was all in vain, as Vixens had already sealed the win. 

Cynthia Mkwesha took the highest tally of the game with 17 points in 31 minutes. 

Sparks turn Fillies into sparring partners

UZ Sparks proved they are a cut above the rest in the final game of Gameweek 19 in the Women’s Division, turning their matchup versus Fillies into a training session. 

The log leaders maintained their grip on the lead for the entire game, finishing with a staggering 91 points versus Fillies’ meagre 13. 

They were relentless, going on a 33-point scoring run and taking 40 fast-break points. 56 points came from the paint, and the well-tuned franchise capitalised on Fillies’ errors to take 38 points via turnovers. 

Four of Sparks’ starters managed double digit points, led by Shooting Guard Tapiwa Verengai. She managed an impressive double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes. 

Speaking to Zimsphere Sports after the game, Verengai was feeling ecstatic about putting up good numbers on the board, saying;

“I feel good, it’s always good to perform well. It shows the level of work I put in, and the results are showing.”

HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association
Double-double Diva — Tapiwa Verengai brought the points for Gameweek 19

Considering how well the Sparks team combines, it would be remiss for Verengai to forget her her teammates, as she gave them their due credit. 

“My teammates wanting it more and working ultimately made the difference. I was just feeding off their energy and knocking down the shots,” she said.

For a team that has gone technically undefeated whole season (they only dropped points due to a forfeiture), one would think they’re starting to doubt the quality of their competition. Verengai, however, rubbished such sentiments, telling us;

“I'd like to believe there's quality in the league, but it just boils down to who wants it more on that day.”

Her teammates also put up impressive stats for Gameweek 19. 

Stella Chikowore went home with 18 points. Primrose Babvu posted a commendable 15-8-5. Tadiwa Mabika managed 14 points and 9 rebounds. Sharon Chamwarura came off the bench to deliver 12 points and 9 rebounds. 


HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association

After Gameweek 19, standings in the Women’s Division remained unchanged. 

Sparks maintained their grip at the top with 36 points. Vixens follow with 33 points, while Blades are third with 29 points. 

The bottom three comprises of Bunnies at 25 points, Fillies just one point behind on fourth, and Hornets anchored at the bottom with 19 points. 

Gameweek 20 Preview, plus Wednesday action

HBA Super Six Gameweek 19 Review, Zimbasket, Harare Basketball Association
Gameweek 20 of the HBA Super Six League is on at Sunrise Sports Club this Saturday. 

As we reach the tail end of the season, some are tussling for the honours, while some just want to make it to the finish line.

The first game at 1000 pits third-placed Blades against bottom-placed Hornets. What a way to get the action going – two teams experiencing different fortunes as we conclude the season. Expect a high-scoring game.

In the second game of the day, Bunnies are up against Fillies. With only one point separating them on the standings, this will be a highly competitive game. 

The blockbuster game of the Women’s Division has to be this matchup between leaders Sparks and second-placed Vixens. Regardless of which team wins, Sparks are likely to remain on top. So, this is essentially a grudge match. 

In the first game of the Men’s Division, well-rested Stars are up against a wounded Leopards. 

The second game at 1800 pits high-flying Bulls against a furious Bucs. Bulls will be looking to continue on their good form whilst Bucs need this win, after taking two losses in a row. 

The final game of the day is also a leader vs second-place affair. JBC take on Hounds. When they met in Gameweek 13, JBC dominated that game 72-56. But things have changed and Hounds are on a good run of form. 

So, as always, expect the unexpected. 

On Wednesday the 27th, the delayed game between JBC and Leopards Academy will be played out at 1830, at the home of elite basketball — Sunrise Sports Club. 

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