Saturday, April 13, 2024

Troopers win National Basketball Championship

After a sterling performance throughout this just ended season, basketball giants Troopers made a double by adding the National Championships trophy to their cabinet.

A few weeks ago they were crowned league champions.

Defeated only once this season, Troopers won all the final game series at the hands of bitter rivals Spartans at the weekend.

Basketball is known for its style, flamboyance and flair and the weekend clash of the titans was no different. It was a tactical and entertaining two series game.

Troopers won the first series 56-51. The second series was the last chance for Spartans’ championship hopes, but a determined Troopers side trounced them 64-58.

Credit has to go to Troopers coach, William Nyangu, who made sure his team played with a disciplined and defensive awareness of tactics in all the series. Troopers came into this final with a poor defensive record but Nyangu’s charges made sure that Spartans did not get open shots.

Troopers are also known to have versatile and speedy players who interchange positions very well. This was seen at the weekend as they showed their opponents who the real kings of basketball are. Fluid distribution and speed was the style that won them silverware in last campaigns and it was retained at the weekend.

“We interchange positions always and that confuses our opponents…..And we have the right players to fit in this tactical formula,” Troopers coach Nyangu told The Telegraph.

Nyangu said against Spartans their plan was to take the lead and run away with it. He said they made sure they maintained their lead in every quarter.

An excited Troopers captain Mothusi Phokoje could not hide his pleasure.

“Our rivals Spartans won this tournament two consecutive years….We felt now it is our time and we did it!” said Phokoje.

Having won the championship with Troopers five years consecutively, Phokoje said that at the weekend game they kept motivating each other that the National Championship tournament belongs to them (Troopers).

“It was always going to be a tough game but senior players like me encouraged young players to pull through and make sure we take this one home,” said Phokoje.

He said though most of their senior players were injured the youngster who were introduced did not disappoint.
Though he was disappointed, Spartans coach, Bobotho Ratsoma, gave Troopers credit. Ratsoma is known for his mastermind tactics which on a good day give his counterpart at Troopers a run for his money.

With Ratsoma at the helm, Spartans won the championships in 2011 and 2012 and last year they won the league also, making it a double.

He said his players could not adjust well to the New Botswana National Youth Council indoor hall court.

“We fell short in trying to adjust our style of play to the court…….We are used to the UB court and the new one was a challenge. For example we could not get a big man getting down low….In short we could not get points in the paint because of the new court,” said Ratsoma.

For the ladies basketball competition, BDF V scooped the National Championships by winning two series by one against Police ladies. In series one BDFV ladies beat Police 50-46. The second series was won by Police 69-44.
In the final and deciding series BDF V trounced Police 66-59.


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