A set of six basketball men and women teams from six Southern African countries will meet in Botswana for the Basketball VI club championships in what is expected to be a do or die encounter.
After alternating between Angola and Mozambique for many years now, it is finally Botswana’s turn to host the region’s finest ‘club ballers ‘from the 20th to the 26th of October.
On offer for the clubs competing in the championships will be a chance to represent Southern Africa at the men and women Club Championship finals which are scheduled for Tunis, Tunisia and Luanda, Angola respectively.
Battling for the coveted club championship finals berth will be teams from regional powerhouses South Africa, Angola and Mozambique as well as Zambia, Zimbabwe and hosts Botswana.
“Countries will be represented by both men and women clubs who were the winners or runner ups of their respective league championships,” Local Oorganising Ccommittee (LOC) Chair, Edwin Dikoloti explained.
The LOC chairman pointed out that the games have been sanctioned by the International Basketball Federations (FIBA), adding that the event will promote Botswana and grow basketball awareness in the country.
FIBA representative in the region, Mothusi Thepe, said the championships mean a lot to the country as champions from Southern Africa will be in our ‘homeland Botswana’ to try and qualify for the finals.
He indicated that he was happy with Lobatse as the host town because this will help take basketball to other areas in the country rather than have it hosted in Gaborone.
“We are excited as FIBA and we are going to support Botswana Basketball to ensure this competition is well organised,” Thepe said.
From the participating teams, Thepe said the winners and runner ups will in both men and women c teams qualify for Club Championships Final. Men teams will be playing their finals in the first week of December, while women’s finals will be first week of Novemberr.
Botswana basketball Ambassador, Churchill Barrows, noted that hosting the tournament will give local players an opportunity to benchmark “in the comfort of being home, as teams from outside are coming to play in our country.”
He added that “this is an advantage for our players to learn from other teams and grow.” Furthermore, Barrows indicated that supporters are a big part of Basketball as they complete the game.
“I hope our supporters will realise how much their role is required to make the games as competitive as can be, without them the game is not complete,” Barrows said.
Botswana will be represented by four teams; two men teams being Troopers and Dolphins and BDF V and Police Academy for women.