Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) public relations officer Molupe Ratšolo says having many local teams registering for competitions outside the country is enough testimony the sport is gradually growing in the kingdom.
Ratšolo said league champions Bashana Ba Heso (BBH), runners-up KTA All-Stars and Lichocha are expected to take part in next month’s Swazi International Invitational Tournament to be played in Mbabane.
The three male teams would be joined by female sides KTA All-Stars and Shooting Riffles at the tournament, which is expected to attract teams from Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and hosts Swaziland.
“It is good to see many of our teams now participating in international competitions unlike in the past when it used to be mostly KTA All-Stars and maybe NUL Rovers or BBH.
“Such tournaments ensure our players meet the best from other countries, which helps them improve and also gives us the chance to compare our standards with the rest of the region, and indeed, the continent,” Ratšolo said.
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) also recently took part in a tournament in South Africa, where the team came fifth—a result Ratšolo said showed the diversity that now prevails in local basketball.
“That alone says if our teams can just go out and register for those kinds of tournament, it means there is a growth and passion for basketball has been revived among our people, like we are always saying we are ‘driven by passion’,” he said.
Meanwhile, the KTA All-Stars player added it was important for local teams to do well in the Swazi Invitational.
“It will be a big challenge because our performance at the tournament will go a long way to attract more teams to our own tournaments and that will help basketball grow in this country,” said Ratšolo.
Ratšolo further said all the teams had since begun preparing for the Swazi event and would play in next weekend’s tournament—their last preparatory championship before leaving for Swaziland.
He said the two-day tournament would be staged at Lehakoe Centre.
“This is an open tournament; we are also expecting teams from outside the country because the aim is to uplift and revive the spirit of the sport in the country.
“It will also feature our development teams and they will be battling those in the national league.”
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