Optimism ahead of regional basketball tourney   

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Moorosi Tsiane

Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) public relations officer, Ratsolo Molupe, says having many teams in the annual Swaziland Invitational Tournament set for 24-26 June will enhance Lesotho’s chances to reach the finals.

Lesotho will be represented by Lichocha, KTA All Stars and Bashana Ba Heso (BBH) in the male categories while KTA All Stars, NUL Rovers and Shooting Rifles will be competing in the female category.

Teams from Lesotho, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland will take part in the event.

“The good thing about sending many teams to this international tournament is it increases our chances of making it to the knockout stages or even the final.  I know the competition will be very high but we also have good teams that can challenge for honors,” Molupe said.

Last year, Lesotho was represented by two male teams, Lichocha and KTA All Stars, while KTA and Shooting Rifles players combined to form the female side.

“Last year, we only had three teams in that tournament and they all lost in the group stage but fortunately, KTA walked away with the most disciplined team and loyalty awards.”

Molupe said the Swaziland competition also helps the local league improve by giving players international exposure.

“The level of competition there is very high and the good thing is our players get exposure which  helps our league to be quite competitive. Our league has been improving over the past two years,” said Molupe.

“KTA was the first team to go there in 2013 and although they didn’t do well, the following year, they made it to the quarterfinals. This shows we have teams that can go all the way.

“Again, our players learn so much when they go out there which like I said, help our game to grow.”

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