All round battles are expected at Otse Police College this weekend when local volleyball powerhouses, BDF VI, Diphatsa, Kutlwano and Kalavango clash in both the men and women’s Capital Motors Volleyball tournament finals.
With P10┬á000 at stake for champions and individual prizes on the table for excelling players, no further motivation will be needed when the four finalists walk onto the courts come Saturday.
Speaking to Telegraph Sport, Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) spokesperson Godfrey Mudongo said everything is in place for the finals. He says the finals, which had earlier been billed for the past weekend had to be postponed to ensure that all focus is on the Zebras’ all important African Nations Cup qualifier against Togo.
With the Zebras game now history, the BVF spokesperson says he expects all the focus to be on the weekend volleyball finals. With all the past finals having been played in front of packed spectators, the BVF spokesperson believes this time will be no different as well.
Concerning the games, Mudongo says if the semi-finals and the quarter-finals are anything to go by, then fireworks will be expected come the weekend finals and perhaps his optimism is not misplaced.
On their route to the finals, men’s finalists BDF VI and Diphatsa both came from two sets behind to dispose of Mafolofolo and Kutlwano, respectively, while the women’s finalists, Kutlwano and Kalavango, both shrugged off their respective opponents, BDF and Mafolofolo with a similar 3 ÔÇô 0 margin.
The good news for Diphatsa going into this year’s men’s finals is that BDF VI will be missing the services of three of its influential players, Pogiso Osupile, Boleseng Boitumelo and Morris Sebinyane.
Save for Sebinyane, the army side has been able to play their last game without the services of both Osupile and Boitumelo, something which points to the depth and quality in the side.
BDF VI, however, will rely on its big match temperament to take them through. While Diphatsa will only be in their second final, BDF has been to as many finals, something which will give the army side advantage.
While optimistic of coming victorious, BDF coach Selebatso Mabutho says the fact that the two sides have never met in the finals will make it even more interesting.
Mabutho says with finals usually a tense affair, whoever between the two sides settles in first will have an advantage over the other.
For his part, Diphatsa’s assistant coach Patrick Kooitsiwe informed Telegraph Sport that their main aim going to the finals is to win. He says while their opponents are very experienced and have depth, they have prepared as much as they can, both physically and psychologically. Kooitsiwe, however, says while they intended to come south and use the Otse indoor facility to get used to it, their plans failed as they could not have all players released due to work commitments.
He says having realised that they always started their games brightly only to fade in the last sets, they have worked hard on their physical fitness, something which he believes brought them this far in the competition. While most of Diphatsa players are injury free, the team is, however, racing against time to ensure that one of their star players, Nlebesu Mbakhwa, recovers from his injury ahead of the crucial encounter with BDF VI.
The games will kick off at 2 pm with the ladies final and the men’s final will follow thereafter. The curtain raisers for the finals are expected to start at 10 am and will feature teams from the local media, BVF Executive Committee and the Capital Motors staff.