THE LESOTHO Basketball Association (LBA) says it expects a fierce contest in the High School Basketball League (HSBL) championship as Christ the King (boys) and Mabathoana (girls) seek to defend the titles they won in 2016.
The HSBL roared into life last week and the teams have been grouped in eight regions where teams from each region will play in a round robin format in the preliminary stages.
The winner in each group will represent the region at the Top 8 knock out stage to produce the winner in the boys and girls categories.
LBA public relations officer, Molupe Ratšolo said the competition got off to a good start last week in two regions, adding that other regions would be in action this weekend.
“Due to the lack of officials we couldn’t afford to have all the matches being played in the same week so others will take place this weekend,” Ratšolo said.
Ratšolo said the first part of the league which featured the round robin clashes would end in May and the knock out stage would commence as soon as schools opened after the winter holidays.
“Since it is a student league, we would not want to interfere with other school programmes especially examinations so the first part is expected to end in May so that we give them time to prepare for mid-year examinations.
“The knock out stage will get underway after the winter break as the aim is for the competition to run until mid-September so that they focus on their mock examinations.”
Ratšolo said their main challenge was getting sponsorship for the league in order to reduce costs faced by the schools.
“The aim is to see as many as schools joining the league and our technical director Fako Masupha has conducted countrywide clinics because this should not be seen as a sport for Maseru or urban children.
He said the league had been designed in a way that allowed for the decentralisation of matches to every region to enable teams to save on transport and other costs.