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Stakes high as Botswana seeks volleyball champs berth

Stakes are high as the senior men's volleyball team begins its quest for a berth at the World Championships with a tricky encounter against Lesotho in the Zonal qualifiers. The game will be played in Molepolole this afternoon, shortly after the opening ceremony at 2:00 pm.
By Mosah Mokganedi Wed 09 Oct 2013, 09:12 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Stakes high as Botswana seeks volleyball champs berth








As the host, the team will be under immense pressure to impress. Botswana hosts the Zonal qualifiers, which have Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho, Namibia and Mozambique over the next five days. The competition will determine the top two countries that will proceed to the continental qualifiers.

The top two teams will join other top sides from the six other zones in Africa.

Although Botswana sailed past Lesotho in the first stage of the qualifiers, the tiny kingdom is sure to cause problems. Mozambique poses problems too as it has shown a lot of improvement.

Coach Manuel Torres said they did not have the desired preparation. He told Mmegi Sport that he would have preferred the team to stay in camp for a long time but that was not possible because of players' work commitments. Torres said as the host, they should play their part in doing the country proud.

He said they respect all the teams in the qualifiers. "We will try our best. There is nothing like small opponents," he said.

Team captain Shadrack Kapeko also shared his coach's sentiments that although they did not have the desired preparation they will be able to compete. He said the team has benefited from the league and the recently held Capital Motors tournament. He said Mozambique and Lesotho are the teams to watch.

"We will not take them ,lightly just because we beat them in the initial stage of the competition," he said. The team consists of experienced players and young blood. Among the new players in the camp are Diphatsa's duo of Nlebesi Mpapho and Thebeng Phenyo.

It has veterans, captain Francis Dingwe and Tjiyapo Madeluka, both of BDF VI. Attackers, Happy Ribbin of Police and Agisanyang Kurwana of BDF VI are expected to lead the team's onslaught if their performance at team level is anything to go by. Another player to watch out is Spiking Stars' Bokao Nagafela who brought so much life since arriving at the Spiking Stars camp. Other players are Kabo Moetse of BDF VI, Thebeng Phenyo, Isaiah Bannye, Alec Engleton and Rebabonye Pastor all from Diphatsa.

George Leabaneng will assist Torres.

 



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