LESOTHO Basketball Association (LBA) secretary general, Tšeole Kojana, says their teams’ lackluster performances at the recently ended Region 5 Youth games was a timely reminder of the importance of proper preparations ahead of major competitions.
Both girls’ and boys’ basketball teams found the going tough at the tournament, losing all their matches by humiliating margins.
The girls were handed 116-2 drubbing by Angola in their opening match. They went on lose their final match 131 to 3 to South Africa.
The boys fared no better as they lost 89-17 to Zambia before being walloped by Angola who beat them 173-10. In their final match they were comprehensively beaten 91-25 by Botswana.
“It was a painful experience for our inexperienced teams,” Kojana said.
“Things didn’t go as planned and we learnt our lesson the hard way that good preparations are always key when going into any competitions.”
He said they had initially identified 60 players for a training camp but due to financial challenges they had to trim the number to for each of the girls’ and boys’ teams.
“We had scouted 60 players from different districts but the financial constraints forced us to reduce to 15 players for each of the two teams. We eventually had to trim the final squads to 12 players each, meaning that the coaches had a very small pool of players to choose from.
“Besides that, we only had five days to prepare and you can’t prepare for such a big tournament in just five days. The teams were only meeting to practice on weekends.
“We will have to go back to the drawing board because I believe we still have to find a system of play that suits us. We need to come up with a style on how we defend and how we attack. We need to come up with a structure for our offense and defence that will suit our players who are not tall. Our players struggled against much taller opponents.
“However, I believe the experience that those players got will be vital for us going into the next games in Malawi next year. But we need to start preparing early this time,” he said.