Friday, December 3, 2021

Botswana men’s volleyball eyes World Championships spot

Botswana men’s national volleyball team have started their Pool U 2014 FIVB World Championship qualifiers campaign on a good note.

On Thursday afternoon, in the Championships opening game, Team Botswana gave Zambia a 3-0 hiding.

Botswana dominated all the sets by 25-19, 25-12 and 25-11, respectively. Botswana’s next fixture was slated for yesterday (Saturday) and results were not available before press time.

Interviewed by Sunday Standard from Kenya on Friday, Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) Head of Delegation George Keotsene said he was impressed by the team’s performance.

“Generally I think the boys played very well. This first game was also good as it boosted their morale and built their confidence,” said Keotsene.

He said their victory against Zambia was smooth sailing as they had played the latter before in the Zone 6 qualifiers and won.

Therefore they knew the weaknesses of the Zambian team, he said.

But they first had to concentrate on their own weaknesses and strengths before they could exploit those of their weaknesses.

In their next game against Cape Verde, Keotsene confidently said that he saw the team winning easily as the islanders are “not a tough challenge.”

Keotsene attributed this to the latest FIVB World rankings which saw Botswana being better ranked when compared to Cape Verde.

Botswana is ranked at 70 out of a cut of 127 in the rankings. Cape Verde, like Zambia, which was beaten by Botswana, did not make the cut of 127 in the rankings.

Also in their first game Cape Verde also lost their game 3-0 at the hands of hosts Kenya.
“We have technically analysed Cape Verde’s strengths and weaknesses. We expect positive results against them,” said Keotsene.

Only one team gets to qualify for the World Championships. And Botswana’s group (Pool) is believed by many including Keotsene, to be the toughest. Botswana is grouped with hosts Kenya, neighbours Zambia, Cape Verde and Egypt.

Keotsene touted Kenya and Egypt as the ones to give Botswana a run for their money. Egypt have always been the continent’s powerhouse and is the pool’s favourites, being number 15 in the world.
Kenya has home advantage and is placed eight places above Botswana in FIVB World Rankings.

If Botswana men’s past performance of the last two phases of the qualifiers where they won all games without conceding a set is anything to go by, a flight to Poland might be a sure bet.

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