A determined Botswana Under 21 national netball team twice came from behind to beat Jamaica and keep alive their chances of making it into the Top 8 of the ongoing Gaborone 2017 Netball World Youth Cup.
Buoyed by a vociferous home support, ‘Dinaletsana,’ as the local girls are affectionately called, defied the odds and a sluggish start to beat the highly rated Jamaica 48 ÔÇô 46.
Having trailed Jamaica in both the first and second quarter, ‘Dinaletsana’ did the unthinkable as they overcame a 5 goal deficit to draw level with Jamaica at the third quarter.
The determined fight back by ‘Dinaletsana’ was reciprocated by the home crowd who cranked up the volume in the UB Indoor Sports Arena to propel the locals towards what at one point seemed an unlikely victory.
“Batswana are 100% behind us, this is the best achievement Botswana has ever made. We dedicate this game to Batswana for they played it with us,” an elated Botswana captain Sarona Hans said at the end of the game.
The same sentiments were echoed by the Jamaican Assistant coach Conrad Parks who reckoned the local support played a significant role in his team’s loss to Botswana.
“It is always nice to host the championships, they are expected to do well and that is the role of the supporters to insure a win,” Parks indicated.
Concerning the actual game, Conrad indicated that their failure was not due to mental strength but due to minor issues being stepping in and shooting.
Parks said as a team, they did not manage to capitalise on their turn overs and failed to keep the ball in position as they wanted.
For her part, Botswana under21 National Netball team coach Setshedi Botlhole- Mmopi acknowledged the support rendered by Batswana was crucial in the team’s success.
Commenting on her team’s performance, a ‘speechless’ Botlhole- Mmopi expressed happiness at the performance of her players.
According to the coach, each player, including those who came in as substitutes, played their hearts out when called on to play.
Concerning her game plan for the do or die match against Jamaica, Botlhole-Mmopi had this to say; “The game plan was to play low as the strength of Jamaica was shooting high.”
Meanwhile, Botswana’s destiny will be determined later today when Jamaica takes on Uganda in the last group matches.
The game, which will determine whether Botswana progresses to the next level will be played at 5pm this evening.