It was billed as an epic battle between two strong security force teams, and rightly so. Between them, both Police VI and BDF VI Volleyball teams have a good number of national team players in their ranks, though Police VI has the majority of these.
What was not expected was that this will be a so easy victory for ‘The Jungle Kings’ or ‘Ditau’ as Police VI is affectionately called. Coach Shimaka Ngwanaotsile’s boys handily won the game in three straight sets as BDF VI folded.
Whereas Police VI emphatically answered the questions on whether they could retain the championship they won last season, it was not the case for BDF VI. To borrow from local singer Vee’s now famous song tagline, when BDF VI were asked to show up, they went ‘Dololo,’ whatever the term means.
But then, if anything can be deduced from the game, it is that this one was largely won from the technical bench. To say the BDF VI technical team was outfoxed in this instance is an understatement.
As was expected, the game between the two teams started at a very rapid pace, with BDF VI targeting the Police VI receiver on the left to take an early control of the game and rattling ‘Ditau’ in the process.
The strategy worked for just four minutes before Police VI Coach Ngwanaotsile found it out and hauled off his receiver. The substitution scuppered BDF VI’s plan and Police VI were back in the game.
Now chasing the game, Police VI were able to close the three points gap and were able to tie it at 17 points each before surpassing BDF VI to take the first set 25 ÔÇô 21.
From then on, it was a procedural march to the title for Police VI as they won the second set by the same score margin as the first before taking the third set 25 ÔÇô 19 to beat BDF VI 3 ÔÇô 0 and retain their league championship title.
“When BDF were servicing in the first set, I realised that they were targeting my receiver in position 4. My receiver on the day was off his game and I quickly noticed that and took the decision to take him out and replace him with another receiver,” the Police VI Coach opined. “The substitution really worked out as I had hoped,” he explained.
To take total control of the game, the Police VI coach said he impressed on his players to control the game when serving by ensuring BDF VI received balls outside the three metre line, thus making it difficult for them to play the game they would have wanted.
For his part, BDF VI coach Isaiah Moilakgabo conceded that while his opponents played a good game, his plans were scuppered when Police VI counterpart substituted his receiver early in the game.
“We started well targeting their weak point, who happened to be their receiver. If you watched carefully, they then identified this weak point and hauled off their receiver. That is when they were able to close the gap because after that we were serving outside with no target because the person we were targeting had been taken off,” he said.
The BDF VI coach also pointed out that where Police VI served very well, his charges on the other hand did not serve so well nor did they receive well the balls served from Police VI.
“In Volleyball, when you lose at least five serves in a set, you are most likely to lose the set and that is what happened,” Moilakgabo explained.
For their troubles, Police VI, who successfully defended their league title, walked away with a whooping P100 000 cheque and a floating trophy.