PALAPYE: Men and women’s defending volleyball league champions, Police VI men and Mag Stimela eased through the preliminary round of the Botswana Volleyball Federation (BVF) tournament last week in Molepolole and Serowe respectively.
The two champions are keen on going all the way to the grand finale as they enter the finals billed for Lobatse this weekend. Police would be playing the quarterfinals while Mag Stimela has qualified for the semifinals.
The BVF-sponsored tournament, played over two weekends, received a cash amount of P250,000 from the federation, as sponsorship proved difficult to secure.
It comes after the volleyball clubs remained idle since the beginning of the year due to lack of sponsorship.
Mag Stimela said they would be using the tournament to gauge their preparedness for the Zone Six Club Championships that would be held in Malawi in December. Police and BDX VI men are the other local sides expected to take part in the regional championship.
In the preliminary round in Serowe, Mag Stimela began their Pool A match with a 2-0 win over Kalavango before dispatching Mafololo 2-1 to seal their route to the semi-finals.
They will take on Kutlwano in a mouthwatering semifinal fixture. The match between the two is never short of sparks.
The Mahalapye-based Mag Stimela will, however, miss their two key players in setter, Oteng Machibe and the versatile Ntesang Kealotswe.
The duo is in a compassionate leave. However, the club has recruited intriguing players in the likes
Club coach, Maboka Molefhi promised utmost performances in the finals despite spending a long time without competitive games.
“I won’t put pressure on my players, but they get motivated against tougher opponents. Kutlwano has a good number of players in the national team, and they are fit.
It presents us an apt platform to measure our strength ahead of the Zone Six,” Molefhi said.
In Lobatse, Police men were also wielding the axe. They humbled their first opponents, Prisons, 2-0 and beat Spiking Stars 2-1 to set a quarterfinal date with Mag Stimela.
The dominant Ditau carries a match fitness advantage against their opponents. They have been active at the Africa Club Championships held recently in Egypt, and some of their players have been involved in national team duty.
Ditau coach, Shimaka Ngwanaotsile said they are completely focused in winning the tournament and can only think about Zone Six when the domestic job was done.
“We don’t want to lose focus. Our opponents are youthful players and more energetic, we anticipate a fight. We are a team to beat, and that is the story of our lives, but we want to win.”