A cohesive Troopers side overcame stubborn BC Saints 90-54 in a Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) League match played at the UB courts on Friday night.
On the back of superior shooting and dominant interior defence, Troopers triumphed over their youthful opponents. Mothusi Phikoje took control when it mattered most, scoring 37 of his team's 90 points, while Troopers' playmaker Thebe Morwagole also produced another solid all-round performance. Troopers started the match on a high note, scoring the opening two baskets inside the first thirty seconds, but the game quickly settled into the tight contest.
Troopers' Emmanuel Ramoshesi, was first to register his name on the score-sheet, before Phikoje converted a free-throw. Saints had a fair share of chances in the opening stages of the game, but often fluffed them with Kabelo Malale being the chief culprit. Troopers' strength was merely teamwork and Morwagole often dropped to lend a hand in defence. On one occasion, the stylish player won the ball at the back, surged into the opponents' half before weaving through a cluster of opponents to net a basket. Saints called for the first time-out when trailing 27-18. After some spirit boosting talk, Saints fortified their backline in a bid to thwart their opponents' attack. However, a Phikoje-inspired Troopers kept pouring forward and netting basket after basket.
They ended the first term leading 45-23. Saints' Kabelo Malale, provided the attacking spark for his side, but they could not contain a Troopers side that came out firing in the second quarter. But without the scoring punch of guards, they struggled to close the gap. Troopers took a comfortable 69-40 lead into the third term. Morwagole's three-pointer towards the end of the third quarter, consolidated Troopers' lead, taking the scores to 85-48.
They then went in for the kill in a quick-paced final term, with Saints' only positive being Maikutlo Lemphole's well-executed three-pointer, but it was too late for his side to recover. The match ended 90-54 with Troopers' trump card, Phikoje, attributing the win to implementing the coach's instructions.