National women’s basketball champions BDF V suffered a huge blow when their trip to Maputo, Mozambique for the Africa Club Basketball Championships collapsed after failing to secure sponsorship for their travel.
The army side, who won last season’s national basketball title, was to represent the country, but after securing P100, 000 from a local insurance company for the accommodation, food, training equipment and tracksuits, they could not finalise a transport sponsorship deal.
The setback ended their hopes of being Botswana’s representatives at this year’s tournament in Maputo that kicks off at the weekend.
BDF V official Boiki Selepeng confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) after a meeting with the sponsor that they would no longer travel to the Mozambican capital.
“It did not go well. I just got back from the sponsor and in the interest of time, things will not go well because it involves a lot of processes including board’s approval.
They had thought it would be concluded in time. We have called the BBA to let them know we will not manage to travel,” Selepeng told Mmegi Sport.
Selepeng added: “It’s a big blow. I don’t even know how I’m going to present it to the girls.”
The club tournament draws teams from around the region that win their respective countries’ domestic leagues
The 2014 Afro Basket tournament brings together teams from countries that include the hosts, South Africa, Zambia and African powerhouse Angola and the host nation.
BDF V’s players will now focus on the national team that is preparing for another tournament that is in doubt. _
Osego Sechele, Monica Tlou, Resego Moepeng and Katlego Mogae are some of their players who have made the squad for the Afrobasket tournament set for Zimbabwe on November 20.
However, the tournament could be postponed to January next year as it comes on the day the club tournament ends.
The argument has been that the same players representing clubs are national team players and will not be able to take part in another tournament immediately after a 12-day competition.
Meanwhile, Botswana’s international basketball referee Dorothy Okatch will no longer officiate at the club championship because of BDF’s pulling out.
“It’s sad news because the BDF team is unable to go. So I won’t be travelling. An accompanying ref only goes when their country’s team is going,” she said sadly.