Bindura University of Science Education’s National Sports Academy Athletics team and the men’s basketball team, the BUSE Panthers displayed a thrilling performance at the just ended Zimbabwe Tertiary Institutions Sports Union (ZTISU) games held in Bulawayo from the 12th to the 17th of July 2022.
Following their excellent performance at the ZUSA games, the two teams advanced to compete at the ZTISU tournament where they cemented and exhibited their superiority against the best of the best from all the country’s institutions of tertiary education.
After a sensational performance from the BUSE athletes, the catalog registered 9 gold medals, 1 silver, 2 bronze, and two trophies for being the best teams in their respective sporting arenas.
The athletics team came to the party and exceeded the expectations of the crowd and spectators as they comfortably outsprinted their opponents. Making the track events headlines of the day, Tapiwa Makarawu won the 100m, 200m and 400 by 1 relay races attaining gold medals in the respective races. He won the hearts of many after a thrilling performance in the 400 by 1 relay which saw him overtaking his competitors to allow Dickson Kamungeremu to finish on pole position to claim victory for the BUSE relay team.
Kamungeremu settled for the silver medal in the 100m race after a tight competition with his fellow academy athlete, Tapiwa Makarawu. Busani Ndlovu raced for the gold medal after vanquishing his opponents in the 400m hurdles race.
The field events were dominated by Wayne Nkomo who walked away with 3 gold medals in shotput, javelin and discus. Mitchel Mandipaka won the silver medal in shotput and a bronze medal in her maiden appearance in the javelin competition. BUSE’s Prosper Bonofinsio won the gold in Javelin and a bronze in discuss marking the end of a superb performance from the talented and hardworking athletes.
Picking from the ZUSA games, the BUSE Panthers exhibited excellence in handling the ball and scoring baskets leading to their deserving win in the finals. The Panthers played Hillside Teachers College in their first match. Despite the game starting low for the panthers, the team regrouped to register a comfortable 77-35 win over their opponents and book a must win match with Mutare Polytechnic for the group’s pole position.
During the initial stages of their second match, it was an equal dominance between the Panthers and Mutare Polytechnic but the panthers evaded the mediocre play to improve their style of play to score many baskets. Mutare Polytechnic also upped their game and the match managed to rally and excite the fans who started chanting songs in support of their respective teams.
The ability to drive the ball with such finesse and clinical precision by the Panthers became too much for the Mutare Polytechnic boys allowing a narrow win for the Panthers of 43-39 to qualify for the semi-finals against Group A second place, Bulawayo Polytechnic.
The semi-finals presented the basketball team with the chance to fully prepare and strategize their tactical formation. Bulawayo Polytechnic gave its best performance but fell short to the Panthers with 57-47 being the score line.
Reality surpassed the imagination, as the Panthers set up a rematch showdown with perennial rivals UZ Stars for the final who mercilessly decimated them the last time they battled in the ZUSA finals. The two teams were familiar with each other but it was the tense atmosphere provided by the spectators who had filled the stadium to the brim which inspired a superb display of skills from the players. The Panthers had to rewrite history and restore their lost glory. The boys played their hearts out but UZ did not back down from the solid competition. It was a stiff match that required heavy hearts as the point margin did not exceed 4. The teams dominated each other equally but the last blow was hit by the Panthers who secured a single point win, to leave the score line at 67-66.
The teams lived up to the University’s motto of commitment, discipline and excellence. The unwavering support of the Sports Directors and the Administration aided the teams to fully reach their potential. As the teams prepare for the CUCSA games to be held in Malawi in August, thorough preparation is mandatory and after that, a few leaps of faith will ensure that BUSE remains the hub of excellence.