Splinter league still waiting

By Brain Murandu

THE rebel Premier Basketball League (PBL) is still waiting on the wings to be accepted by the Basketball Union of Zimbabwe and insists everything lies with the mother body. <
/P>

Raymond Nyamuzihwa, chairman of the breakaway league, revealed to IndependentSport that it is the registration issue that is a technicality in maping the way forward even though their papers are in order.


“We’ve presented everything to BUZ and it’s up to them to decide because we’re not going to fight them – that’s not our plan. Sport does not work that way,” he said.


Nyamuzihwa said it was unfair for so much dust to be raised about their league, which stripped provincial leagues of some top sides.


“There’s a Christian social league going on at the moment but no noise is being made. Let’s be progressive,” he said.


PBL starved the Harare-based Mashonaland Basketball Association of 2002/2003 men’s champions Kingdom Cavaliers, Interfin Celtics and to a lesser extent the ever-struggling CBZ Jewels.


From Matabeleland Amateur Basketball Association, former champions Giants joined the rebel bandwagon alongside Africa University of Mutare.

Basketball sources said everyone was for the PBL idea until it became separatist by, among other reasons, charging a $1 million affiliation fee, having no promotion or demotion format and taking aboard nonentities like CBZ Jewels. The PBL has been called an elitist league of “people with money”.


But Nyamuzihwa said everyone had been invited to join the league.

“We’re not elitist. Definitely we’re not and I think people should define what that means,” he fumed.


Nyamuzihwa stressed they initially asked certain clubs to come aboard but the offer was turned down.


However, Admire Masenda, the president of BUZ, said there is no going back on the PBL issue.


“We said no and what else do you want us to say,” he said. “Why should they continue playing social, they should join provincial leagues,” said Masenda.


He said: “PBL are a bunch of guys with money to travel around the country.”


PBL have held their games in major cities like Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare.


Last weekend, the rebel league’s programme coincided with BUZ’s national league championships as they also staged their semi-final ties at Richwood Park court in Meyrick Park suburb.


“We already have a national league programme once during the season while their (PBL) programme is purportedly throughout the whole season,” Masenda said.