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Under-18 basketball teams off to Botswana

Leemisa Thuseho

LESOTHO’S under-18 male and female 3 on 3 basketball teams leave the country on Tuesday for the annual Young Lions Cup in Gaborone, Botswana.

The tournament starts on Wednesday and ends on 2 December 2019.

Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) president Faku Masupha recently told the Sunday Express that all is set for the trip.

Masupha said the travelling team consists of eight players, two coaches and three other officials.

“The players have been in camp since last month and all the preparations have bene sponsored by Bokamoso Basketball Development Programme since LBA is facing financial challenges,” Masupha said.

He also said the trip is being sponsored by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) and other LBA partners.

Masupha said the tournament would take a different format this year where players would be randomly selected into mixed teams of four for all categories. Each country will get credit whenever a team in which one of its players wins.

Masupha pointed out that instead of outright competition, the tournament is meant for development and life and leadership skills coaching.

“There will be classes for the players where they will go through life skills, leadership, anti-doping, peer education and conflicts management lessons.”

Lesotho lost 9-2 to Botswana in the boys’ category in the opener of the previous edition. It also lost 6-4 to Zambia before being thumped 15-5 by Zimbabwe. eSwatini handed Lesotho a 9-6 defeat.

In the ladies’ category, Lesotho beat Zambia by 4-3 before being trounced 13-3 and 14-3 by Zimbabwe and Botswana respectively.

Rantšolo Molupe, the 3 on 3 basketball coordinator said he was happy with the team’s preparations and encouraged the players to utilise their time at the tournament to network with other players.

Team Lesotho

Male team; Tseko Lekono, Thabiso Lephole, Reabetsoe Serame and Refiloe Motenalapi.

Ladies team; Liteboho Lelimo, Palesa Matlole, Matheakoena ‘Mabathoana and Ntsoaki Snyman.

Coaches; Tebello Lehloenya and Alias Ntakha.

Coordinator; Rats’olo Molupe

Life Skills coach; Khotso Khakhe

LBA President; Faku Masupha

Secretary General; Tseole Kojana

Director Development; Bafokeng Salae

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