The Monitor :: Double bronze for netball
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Last Updated
Wednesday 14 November 2018, 18:34 pm.
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Double bronze for netball

Botswana Netball Association (BONA) president Tebogo Lebotse-Sebego reckons a foreign coach drilling the national teams for the next two years is a must in preparation for 2017.
By Thato Kala Mon 15 Dec 2014, 15:22 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Double bronze for netball








Botswana’s Under-20 team that participated in the African Union Sports Council Region Five Youth Games in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe scooped bronze as the senior team also managed a 44-41 win over Malaysia to settle for bronze at the Nations Cup tournament in Singapore over the weekend. The Malaysia tie was a closely contested tie with Botswana’s youthful team narrowly leading 25-21 at half time. Lebotse-Sebego is thrilled by the two bronze medals but believes the association has its work cut out.

“I am excited because the team in Zimbabwe also won bronze as well as the ones in Singapore. But we have a lot of work to do technically,” she said.

The team in Singapore had a good tournament, winning four of their six matches. The final day of group action on Friday at the Nations Cup 2014 had plenty thrills and spills. It was sweet revenge for the youthful Botswana team as they put to rest their defeat in 2008 with a win over the Papua New Guinea to book Saturday’s rematch against Malaysia.

The last time the two teams met in the Nations Cup was back in 2008 where they played twice that week: once in the group stages (57-49 to PNG); and again in the grand final where PNG lifted the trophy with a close 55-53 result over Botswana.

It was a close contest again on Friday with just one point separating them at the first break (13-14). It was a repeat in the second quarter giving PNG a marginal two-point lead at halftime (26-28).

The tables turned in the second half though when Botswana made several tactical changes including moving Tumisang Bagidi

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from WA into GA. She scored ten goals with 100 percent accuracy. They stepped in front for a 43-37 advantage after the third quarter and kept the momentum going to the final whistle for a 59-46 victory and an important win to put them into the third/fourth play-off.

Botswana coach, Ntebo Maplanka, who played in 2008 when Botswana lost the final by two points, said: “We came into the game knowing we had lost to a lower ranked team already in Singapore and couldn’t let that happen again. World ranking points are very important to us and we also didn’t want to end up in the 5/6th play-off. Singapore and Botswana are worlds apart and we didn’t travel all that way for nothing! We let Papua New Guinea play their way in the first half and knew we would catch them with our speed and agility in the second half. I saved some key players for that stage and it worked.”

Lebotse-Sebego is particularly delighted that six of the players that played at the Singapore tournament were making their debuts. “Six players, which is half of the squad, were playing for the first time in the national team, this is outstanding. I am especially excited that this time my technical team did not hesitate to include a player who is 16 years old,” she said.

Teenage starlets Sarona Hans and Boikanyo Selogetso were the youngest players on tour. Hans played Wing Defence in the PNG match.

Botswana’s Centre Gosego Tsele was voted Most Valuable Player for Botswana. Meanwhile, Samoa were crowned Nations Cup Champions for 2014 after beating hosts Singapore 50-41 on Saturday.

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