01 June 2015

BOTSWANA : Botswana Unsuccessful in Basketball Tourney

Gaborone — Botswana has finished bottom of the boys and girls pools in the FIBA Africa Zone VI U16 Afrobasket qualifiers.
The five-day event, which was held at the Botswana National Youth Centre (BNYC) multi-purpose hall, came to an end on Saturday (May 30) with the hosts having lost all their matches after some dismal performances.
The girls team was outclassed 68-19 by South Africa in its opening match on Tuesday, while the boys were crushed 120-16 by the same opponent. Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique and Zambia also inflicted resounding defeats on Botswana as the gap in standards between the local teams and the rest of Southern Africa was ruthlessly exposed.
The local players were on many occasions undone by their lack of speed when dealing with rebounds and when in transition from defence to attack. Their shooting accuracy was not up to scratch as they fluffed scoring opportunities, even from free balls.
The boys team scored just 79 points in four matches while conceding a tournament high 541 points. That underlined their problems in both attack and defence. The boys coach, Kago Gagobepe blamed lack of adequate preparations for the team's bad performance.
He said the players he used in the competition were inexperienced in basketball yet the coaches were given a period of less than two weeks to prepare them.
"Some players were still new in basketball. We just picked them because of height and we wanted to nurture them so that they could become good basketball players. Unfortunately we did not have enough time for preparation. We only had a week and a half in camp and in that period we had to teach them the fundamentals of basketball," Gagobepe explained.
He argued that the period was too short to adequately improve concentration, pace and stamina of the players.
"Obviously we have now seen that preparations in basketball are very crucial, and speed is also essential. If you don't come prepared enough you would not compete. We should always prepare well in time for competitions of this magnitude," he said.
South Africa qualified for the FIBA U16 Afrobasket finals after winning the boys category.
They finished the tournament with eight points after winning all their matches. Zimbabwe were runners-up with six points, while Zambia and Mozambique finished third and fourth respectively with six points each. Botswana came last with four points.
In the girls category Zimbabwe won all its matches to finish top with eight points and qualify for the finals.
Angola finished second with seven points, South Africa third with six points, while Zambia was fourth with five points. Botswana finished bottom with four points.

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