Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Mabote and Osi on course for championships

Bonolo Mabote and Matshidiso Osi continued their assault for the inaugural Botswana Table Tennis Association (BTTA) Premier league with their sixth successive wins each this past weekend.

The duo is yet to taste defeat in their quest, placing them as favorites for the championship.

While Mabote has dominated the men’s section of the league championship, Osi has done the same in the ladies’ section.
Going towards the midway of the league, the two have now tightened their grip at the top of their respective sections.

After five weeks of being neck-and-neck with Thobo Matlhatsi in the men’s section, Mabote pulled clear at the top as Matlhatsi faltered and lost two games this past weekend.

In what was a top of the table clash between the two, it was Mabote who beat Matlhatsi in four straight sets to keep his eye on the crown and hand Matlhatsi his second loss in the league, all incurred in a single day of the weekend.

Mabote beat his fellow league contender 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 and 11-3 in that succession to ensure he became the undisputed leader of the league log.

Earlier on the day, Mabote had beat McDonald Qalinge in six sets to start his weekend matches in a positive way. While his game against Matlhatsi was a straight set victory, Mabote had had a tough time against Qalinge.

After winning the first two sets 11-8 and 11-4, the BTTA Premier League log leader was pegged back as he lost the next two sets 9-11 and 3-11 respectively.

He however staged a fight back in the next two sets as he handed Qalinge two successive 11-5 defeats to end the match. Matlhatsi on the other hand suffered his other defeat of the league season at the hands of the country’s number one ranked player Rorisang Raesima.

In what was a tightly contested seven sets match, Matlhatsi not only lost the match 3-4 but also lost his grip on the league championship race.

Having started his match against Raesima brightly winning two sets, Matlhatsi would however lose his next three sets. Though he recovered on the sixth set which he won 11-8 but he however went on to lose the deciding set 7-11.

Meanwhile, in the ladies section, Osi swatted aside challenges from Oabona Raditloko and Lovie Chilisa to keep her winning streak intact ahead of her nearest challenger Boitshwarelo Butale who is the country’s number one ranked player in the ladies. Against Raditloko, the two ladies exchanged leads, with Osi taking the first and third sets while Raditloko won the second and fourth.

It was however all a futile attempt for Raditloko as Osi then won the next two consecutive sets to seal her fifth victory. Osi would then go on to beat Chilisa in four straight sets in her second game of the day to register her sixth victory of the league and continue her unbeaten run at the helm.

On the other side, Butale started the weekend on a good footing, winning her first match of the day in four straight sets against Raditloko.

The number one ranked ladies’ player could however not maintain her winning streak as she succumbed to a 3-4 loss against Chilisa on her second match of the day. The BTTA Premier league will continue today (Wednesday) and this coming Saturday at the National Stadium.

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