THE embattled local basketball teams have dumped the Lesotho Basketball Association’s (LBA) National Basketball League (NBL) to form their own league, the Lesotho Senior Basketball League.
This follows a long dispute at LBA which has seen the NBL play-offs being stalled since March this year.
The dispute arose between LBA and two of its clubs — T98 and Bokamoso.
The association banned the two teams after it discovered that they used suspended players in their opening games of the play-offs in March.
However, even though T98 and Bokamoso were kicked out, the play-offs still could not go on as planned because the two clubs requested for talks with the association at the beginning.
Now three months later after the request for talks, nothing has happened and it remains unclear whether or not the play-offs will continue this season.
The committee chairperson of the new basketball league, Ratšolo Molupe, said among other reasons, they decided it was best to form a different to relive the LBA of some duties so that it can focus on the most important aspect of the sport, which is development.
“So many things have happened since this new committee was elected in January last year but there was no work towards helping the sport to grow,” Molupe said.
“We came up with this idea along with all the male teams which were playing in the NBL and decided that it was wise that we form an autonomous league so that we relieve LBA of some duties for them to be able to focus on other things. Running the league was really a problem because other programmes were suffering.”
Molupe said this new league, which will only be played by male teams for now will still be under the LBA as the basketball mother body.
He said they also want to bring back the passion and love for the sport which was slowly fading away due to the incessant politics currently reigning supreme in the LBA.
“We couldn’t let the spot die. We want to bring back that passion. However, we will still be an arm of the LBA arm because they are still the custodians of basketball.
“We will draw up a memorandum of understanding after Sunday’s Annual General Meeting.
“LBA will now have enough time to focus on improving the 3 on 3 basketball, they will deal directly deal with the High Schools’ League and all the development related programmes.
“These are the areas where we were suffering a lot because lot of attention was only on the league,” Molupe said.
The Lesotho Senior Basketball League committee is made up of Molupe as the chairperson with Bokang Sehlabaka as the Technical Director, Tšepo Borikhoe as the Public Relations Officer while Prince Ramoeletsi holds the Treasurer portfolio and Atang Mantutle is the Secretary General.