KTA All Stars will be Lesotho’s only representative at the 2014 Swaziland Invitational International Basketball Tournament scheduled for Mbabane on 27 June.
According to the Lesotho Basketball Association Public Relations Officer, Molupe Ratšolo, other local teams could not make it to the annual competition due to financial constraints.
Ratšolo further said the Khubetsoana-based outfit would take part in a four-team tournament alongside Buffaloes, BBH and Manong on 7 June at Lehakoe Recreational Club, as part of preparations for the Swaziland event.
“The invitation to send as many teams as we wished came early this year, but only the champions, KTA, were able to accept,
and would be leaving for Swaziland on 26 June.
“This is an annual tournament that brings together clubs from different countries and this year, seven nations would be represented in the event. A total of 16 clubs will be battling-it-out in the tournament, among them the KTA male and female sides,” said Ratšolo, who also plays for KTA.
Last year, Rovers and KTA represented Lesotho in the tournament, but could not bring back any silverware.
“One of the main reasons why we could not do well in the tournament last year was we did not go with all our players due to lack of funds. Again, we made some mistakes at the tournament, which we have since rectified. Because we will be able to field a full squad this time around, we are confident of doing well this year,” said Ratšolo.
Ratšolo further said this weekend’s tournament would also ensure the team is adequately prepared for the Swaziland championship.
“On 7 June, we will be playing in a four-team tournament at Lehakoe Recreational Club, which would help us with our preparations for the Swaziland tour.
“In addition to making sure we are match-fit, the Lehakoe event is also going to help us foster a spirit of competition and unity among the players.
“The weekend tournament is also going to help us integrate a new player, Bokang Pharella, who has just joined us. We would want to make sure by the time we leave for Swaziland, he has become
used to the way we play here at KTA,” he added.
“What we are basically saying is KTA are going to Mbabane to compete and not just be part of the tournament.”
Asked which nation could present them with problems at the tournament, Ratšolo said: “Teams from Mozambique and Zambia could be a problem for us because of the huge physique of the players.
“But still, that does not mean we will roll over and be their whipping boys.”