The Zimbabwe University Sports Association (ZUSA) Cluster 2 games presented an opportunity for Bindura University of Science Education to solidify their pedigree as a dominate force in university sports and they did not disappoint.
Against overwhelming odds, team BUSE showed heart and grit to end the games as the second best institution at the games. This was a huge step in the positive for the Sports and Recreation department as they are building on to an impressive showing at the ZUSA Cluster 1 games which were hosted in March by NUST.
BUSE ended the games with a catalogue of 13 medals -6 gold medals, 5 sliver and 4 bronze. Only bettered by the University of Zimbabwe, BUSE students carried themselves with class and excellence and can thus hold their head high.
The Panthers proved themselves as arguably the most gifted team with regards to handles. The way the Panthers handled the ball was breathtakingly spectacular. Coupled with their ability to drive the ball with such finesse and clinical precision, BUSE Panthers bulldozed their way to the final. They swept through their opponents with relative ease and set up a showdown with perennial rivals UZ Stars for the final.
The UZ indoor basketball court was packed to the brim. The expectation was palpable and both teams exhibited laser focus on the gold medal prize up for grabs. However, it would seem the Panthers choked under the weight of the atmosphere as they failed to fire on all cylinders. UZ Stars took advantage and scored successive three-pointers with the Panthers failing to register a point from open play.
The weight of an ever growing points gap rattled the Panthers causing them to neglect team work for individualism. The end result was a 47-28 throbbing and a silver medal. Although the boys choked in the finals, they won the hearts of many with their fluid play. Given that UZ Stars are perennial league title contenders, the Panthers not only lost to a seasoned squad but they proved that BUSE’s basketball foundation is strong and hope for titles will fast be realized soon.
Like the men’s basketball team, there was high expectation on the netball team. For a team in the Netball Premier League, they did not disappoint. They swept through their group opponents with CUT offering some resistance.
They however emerged 19-17 winners of that match. They gave a 52-0 baptism of fire to Gwanda University who chased BUSE shadows all day long. Reformed Church University was next on the menu and the girls feasted on them, registering a 50-6 win.
Wins were also registered over Lupani State University (26-24) but the girls stumbled 27-12 against University of Zimbabwe. This was enough for them to qualify for the semifinals in which they faced MSU. The match was for from a 1 sided affair but BUSE lacked clinical precision in their shooting. They girls fail by 20 point (14-34).
A 10 point win (24-14) against Great Zimbabwe University earned BUSE a podium finish as bronze medalists.
The women handball team was participating in their first ever ZUSA games and like all newcomers, a trial by fire awaited them. The ladies may have underestimated the task at hand but Lupani State University (LSU) have them an awakening. They lost 9-11. The score suggests a close encounter but it was far from it. They faired thus thanks to the brilliance of their keeper, AdionaMudonhi who withstood a barrage of stings from LSU. The again stumbled again against National University of Science and Technology (NUST), falling 8-11. However they got their consolation against Women’s University in Africa (WOA) winning 4-3.
The men however fared better, winning a bronze medal. They opened their account with a 8-11 loss to NUST. Excusing the loss to pretournament jitters, they ran riot against LSU, winning 12-2, and thrashed Gwanda 22-5. The men stood tall again over WOA, winning 21-7. These victories earned them a place in the semifinals where they faced MSU.
The match was end to end action and the teams evenly matched. Just when it seemed as though BUSE was grabbing the match by its horns, a series of errors and penalties cost theboys the game. They eventually lost 21-24. Despite the disappointment, the boys lifted themselves up to exert revenge on NUST in their bronze medal match. They ended the tourney was the third best team.
No one gave BUSE’s soccer team a chance at the start of the games. Classified as the whooping dogs of the games, the boys showed that they have a sting in their bite.
They opened their account with a 2:0 win against Catholic University and pulled a shocker against NUST by equalizing in the dying minutes of the game. That 1 all draw showed that this team came to prove a point.
Up next was CUT and in typical underdog fashion BUSE scored 2 goals in quick succession, leaving CUT to leak their wounds. BUSE topped the group with 7 point and booked their quarterfinal spot in style.
Strangely enough they were pitted against CUT again in the quarters and like most return legs, CUT corrected their mistakes and exerted revenge on BUSE. The boys lost 0:2 and bowed out of the tourney with pride. They may have failed to progress but indeed they held their own against more fancied universities.
Not since 2019 has BUSE had a darts team and even then, they fared miserably at inter-varsity games.
This was a reincarnation of a sort and given that the team was created and trained for just a month prior to the game, both the men and women’s darts teams performed beyond expectation.
Both teams were able to progress past the group stages and booked there places in the semifinals.
Both teams lost their respective matches and lost the bronze medal matches as well. Subsequently, they both finished the games as the 4th best teams at the games.
The men’s pool team is arguably the least performing team of all the teams BUSE fielded at the Cluster 2 games. This tag was not because they were the worst but rather they failed to live up to their potential and tripped, finishing 4th in a group they could have topped with 2 wins and 2 losses.
Unlike their male counterparts, BUSE ladies exceeded expectations. They finished 2nd in their group and qualified for the semifinals.
Pitted against GZU, the ladies failed to win the deciding match, falling 2-3. They however stood tall against ZEGU to win bronze and add to the misfortune of the men’s obvious failure.
Playing at Morris Depot, far from the meddling UZ crowd, both the men and women handled the circumstances well.
The ladies failed to qualify from the group stages but the men did themselves proud by winning 2 games and losing only 1.
They even out matched the favourites, Chinhoyi University to book their place in the semifinals. However nothing came from it as they failed to not only reach the final but also failed to win their bronze medal match.
BUSE’s overall second place at the games is largely due to the medal haul that they won in Taekwondo.
After the lukewarm outcome of the karate tourney at the Cluster 1 games in Bulawayo, little was expected from the bulk of BUSE martial artists. However, they surprised most, chiefly their opponents.
Despite some being pint-sized, they girded themselves with courage when they faced giant opponents. The end result was 6 gold medals and a bronze. BUSE fielded fighters in all categories and had the largest number of fighters.
BUSE sports has proved to be a force to reckon with. The 2022 ZUSA games has thus far proved that even with a small pool of students to select teams from, BUSE has heart and courage to be counted when it matters. We finished second best in Bulawayo, behind UZ and again 2nd in Harare, behind UZ.
The 2023 games are worth focusing on and preparations need to done well in advance for the teams to better equip themselves at those games.
Kudos to the coaching staff who drilled their teams with an excellent mentality and a never say die spirit. Team BUSE lived up to the crest’s pledge of commitment, discipline and excellence. Even with hash condition that threatened the atmosphere of the games, the team persevered and set up a strong foundation for better results next year.