With the basketball league starting on April 5, UB Relics and the Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) hosted a thrilling 3-on-3 preseason tournament in preparation for the basketball season.
The tournament, which was held at University of Botswana basketball court on Friday last week, was sponsored by Clubs Entertainment, Active Sport and Bee Mark Sportswear.
A game of 3-on-3 is not like the usual and known 5-on-5 basketball game because, in 3-on-3 games, the teams chose those that will participate in this tourney as each team has three players on the field and two substitutes.
The 3-on-3 tournament started last year.
“The international basketball governing body, the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA), has introduced the 3-on-3 as a game at the Olympics,” said UB Relics Head of Basketball Operations, Thandi Tumelo. “We also need to learn and grow 3-on-3 games as a country.”
Tumelo said the 3-on-3 tournament is also good for money saving, especially in a league which does not have a sponsor. She gave the example that during this global financial difficulties, Botswana can just send a team of 5 for 3-on-3 tournaments unlike 15 for the 5-on-5 games. She said this will reduce costs like resources and plane ticket, food and accommodation.
Police women emerged champions, while for men; the winners were the evergreen Spartans. The winners got a trophy from Active Sport and a kit from sportswear sponsors, Beemark.
However, not all league teams participated at this year’s 3-on-3 tournament as Francistown teams did not show up for the tournament, citing financial problems. There were 8 male teams and 4 female teams in this tournament.
Tumelo said it was ‘just a feel easy’ tournament’ as it gave players a chance to showcase their skills and flair on the basketball court. She said UB Relics, as organisers, have learned a lot in this 3-on-3 tournament. She said most teams showed commitment, determination and fitness for the new season. Tumelo said there was a lot of talent uncovered at this tournament as people will see when the league starts.
“UB Relics did a great job on organising these games. I am also happy that the basketball fanatics came in satisfactory numbers and we are looking forward to seeing them supporting their teams when the league starts,” said Botswana Basketball Association Public Relations Officer, Mimi Mokgwathi.
This year’s season is expected to be more interesting with the improvement of many teams and their thirst to compete as seen at the preseason tournament.
Mokgwathi said she has seen a lot of improvement from teams like UB Relics, BDF V and Police. She said people should also watch out for Troopers, which has been struggling to find a coach as it has now improved and has a new coach.
Attention will also be on league new comers, like Dolphins (women) and Warriors (men).
Tumelo also revealed that there is a new team coming out of the UB Relics shores. She, however, said she could not reveal its name for now, adding that the team will be unveiled this August, at the beginning of UB’s academic year.
According to FIBA website, 3-on-3 games were invented in 2007 and recommended for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) of 2010 at Singapore.
The website also states that 3 on 3 basketball was identified as a potential catalyst of the development of the sport worldwide.