The 2015/16 Celiat Construction Botswana table tennis league resumed this past weekend in Gaborone at the Botswana National Youth Council(BNYC) hall; where Thobo Matlhatsi and Boitshwarelo Butale remained unshaken at the crest of the log.
The league, which comprises of top 8 ranked male and female players in the country, was on hold for almost a month due to the association’s national team activities. Thobo Matlhatsi who is ranked 2nd in the country retained his top position after brushing aside his arch-rival and country number 1 Bonolo Mabote 4-0 in a hard fought contest.
Matlhatsi remains comfortably at the summit of the log with 16 points after going 8 rounds unbeaten. Mabote said he blames the BTTA league managers for poor communication regarding the fixtures and time of play.
“I don’t blame league managers for my loss. I lost all of my games fair and square, Matlhatsi was way better than me. But my problem was that I did not have enough time to prepare for the league because there was no communication between us and the league managers which is not good at all,” he said.
Mabote, whose confidence was way above prior to his clash with Matlhatsi, bit the dust again and succumbed to Macdonald Qalinge 4-2 in his second match that was played late afternoon on the same day.
“I did not bring my guns blazing. I was not well prepared but there was a little improvement in my second game. That’s why I lost 4-2 unlike in the first game. I believe I will come back strong if at all the communication aspect will be improved within the league,” Mabote concluded.
For his part, Thobo Matlhatsi gave credit to his determination and drive that kept him fit during the long festive break where most of athletes loose shape.
“I never stopped training since the league break, that’s why I improved this much. I had to better my backhand and attacking tactics, fitness is key in every game and skill comes last,” said Matlhatsi.
On the ladies section Boitshwarelo Bizo Butale continued where she left off by smashing her national team partner Tshepiso Rebatenne of Nhabe table tennis club. The match was not easy to predict because it was clash of the top crop. (Rebatenne is ranked 1st in the country followed by Butale on second position).
“This was a tougher game that I have played in a while. I won the first two sets and she came hard on me and managed to equalize, but it was too late for her because that was when I was too strong in attack,” Butale explained.
She went on to win her second match against na├»ve Olorato Ramagapu 4-2 which she said was also a tough match because everyone wanted to win in order to better their league position.
“I was capitalizing on their weaknesses. They always return rusty from festive break,” said Butale.
In other league results on the ladies section Matshediso Osi beat Phemelo Gaborapelwe 4-2,Olorato Ramagapu lost to Salome Matlhatsi 4-0,Namibo Mbulawa won 4-1 against Hetwg Kangootuie and Tshepiso Rebatenne smashed Salome Matlhatsi 4-0.on the Mens section Modisaotsile Kola beat Kennete Santudu 4-0,Rorisang Raesima lost 4-3 to Macdonald Qalinge.