20 June 2011

BOTSWANA : Spartans humble BDF V in basketball encounter

Correspondent Mmegi

BDF V left the University of Botswana (UB) basketball courts with their heads down after they were drubbed 101-54 by Spartans in an action packed Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) League game on Wednesday night.

After the encounter, the military men failed to swallow their pride and refused to shake hands with the youngsters - as is norm after each game - hurriedly leaving the courts in shame.

BDF V's reaction to the results was however not surprising as they had gone into the game with high hopes of leaving the victorious side. The first few minutes of the game's first quarter were intense as both sides showed eagerness to win. But it was BDF V's Karekwe Bob who registered the first basket.

The game thereafter gained momentum as Spartan's Clive Phiri replied with a basket. An exchange between the two teams followed as each answered basket for basket. BDF V lost concentration in the last five minutes of the first quarter and this is when Spartans took advantage and finished with a comfortable 28-13 lead, thanks to star shooters Mothusi 'Speedy' Thipe and Robert Mosalakatane, who scored a total of 18 baskets.

Spartans seemed to have realised that BDF V were no match for them in the second quarter as the team started playing a game they were clearly enjoying. The youngsters dribbled the frustrated soldiers and destroyed their morale. BDF V started playing under pressure and made silly mistakes that cost them several points. They were only able to score 11 baskets whilst Spartans scored 23 points ending the quarter 51-24.

Phiri's height seemed to have been a great advantage as he blocked most of BDF V's baskets and was also available to finish off whenever his team mates' balls failed go through the net. Towards the end of the second quarter, the comfortable Spartans decided to substitute Thipe and Mosalakatane to pave the way for players who rarely taste games in the likes of Paule Jovanovic and Thabang Ncube.

The change slowed down the pace of the game and worked well for BDF V in the third quarter. Thipe and Mosalakatane charged back into the game but BDF V had already gained momentum. BDF V however failed to use their form to score necessary points, ending the quarter with 38 baskets to Spartans' 66.

The last quarter was slow but with the return of Thipe and Mosalakatane, Spartans were able to increase their lead further. BDF V fell back and because of frustration they committed fouls that helped Spartans consolidate their lead. In the last two minutes of the game, BDF V were down 51-88 but for Spartans that was not enough as their plan was to hit the 100 baskets mark. Mosalakatane received a knock, which saw him off the field but that did not dampen the team's spirits.

In the last 14 seconds, Spartans had reached 99 baskets. Thipe was fouled in the game's last second and he was able to score two goals that put his side at 101 baskets. BDF V coach Kenosi Moruakgomo said he realised his charges had long lost the game in the first quarter. He said the team made many mistakes and had lots of turnovers. 'Most of our good point guards were also not available for the game and the ones we used were a bit slow,' he said.

Moruakgomo said because of this, their defensive and offensive rebounding was poor. He, however, acknowledged that Spartans are a better team and that they could not match their fast breaks. 'One-on-one they beat us point blank because of their individual skills,' he said. Meanwhile, Spartans sit at number 10 on the log after winning four of five games they have played since the commencement of the league. BDF V are in fifth place after playing eight games and loosing half of them.

Flames, troopers and Falcons are on positions one to three. In the Women's League, BDF V are the only unbeaten side so far. Debutants Panthers are in second place after loosing one game to fourth-placed Police a fortnight ago. NIIT are third whilst Relics and Splinters are fifth and sixth respectively.

Weekend Fixtures (UB)

1800hours: Police vs NIIT
2000hours: Troopers vs Drillers

1600hours: NIIT vs BDFV
1800hours: Relics vs BDFV (Ladies)
2000hours: Cadets vs BDFV

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