Let’s give credit where it’s due
LICHOCHA Shooting Rifles won their third consecutive National Basketball League (NBL) championship after beating Bokamoso 49-45 at Lehakoe Recreational Centre last Sunday.
They won three of the best of five matches that decided the championship.
It was a triumph of experience over youthful zest as they finally overcame the highly motivated Bokamoso side that gave them a run for their money in all matches.
The Bokang Sehlabaka-coached outfit has been the most consistent team in the NBL ladies category, having won trophies almost every season since their debut in the elite league in 2014.
Theirs is a remarkable achievement for a team that has only been in existence for four years.
More often than not, when a team is doing well players receive all the accolades while coaches are left behind and only mentioned when the chips are down.
When the team struggles, the coaches usually become the scapegoats who have to shoulder all the blame.
I find this extremely unfair and it is the norm not only in football but in other sporting codes as well.
People tend to forget or downplay the importance of coaches yet they spend sleepless nights planning and preparing the players for matches. Quite often they endure stress and cut animated or forlorn figures shouting instructions from the touchline during matches.
Of course we have situations where some teams have struggled for results as a consequence of poor coaching but I believe that on the whole, coaches are not getting enough recognition for the good work they do.
For example, Lichocha coach and co-founder Sehlabaka has been instrumental in making the team the force they are in the domestic leagues.
Popularly known as Bongo, Sehlabaka has proved to be one of the best coaches in the country alongside the likes of Bokamoso coach Faku Masupha.
He has won seven trophies with the women’s team since he started coaching Lichocha in 2014. He also won the men’s league last season and only lost 1-3 to Bokamoso 3-1 in this year play-offs a fortnight ago.
The difference between the winners and losers on Sunday was down to tactics and it was the shrewd substitutions by Sehlabaka that enabled Lichocha to finally break the resolve of the stubborn youthful Bokamoso side.
It, is therefore, only fair that we give Sehlabaka a pat on the back for the good work he has been doing with this team.
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