Botswana’s dream of playing in the Afro Basketball tournament in Cameroon next year were shattered when they lost to Mozambique by a point as the game ended 69- 68 in favour of the visitors.
Mozambique scored the winner in the last minute of the second leg of the qualifiers that were played at Ditshupo hall on Saturday night.
In the first leg that was played in Mozambique, Botswana lost 61- 40.
The hosts dominated the first stanza of the match playing a solid defensive and attacking game that left Mozambique only playing a defensive game.
Botswana’s Karabo Geche was sharp in the attacking system scoring three pointers that gave them an early lead while Dumezweni Setlhare disabled the Mozambique attacking system with his defensive skills.
Due to the pressure, Mozambique created a number of fouls that resulted in Botswana getting shots.
Despite the tough defence, Mozambique’s Ivan Machave fought a lone battle up front giving Botswana’s vice captain Israel Mophato a difficult time.
Machave sliced through the defence system to get a number of scores.
Mozambique gained confidence after their coach Horacho Martins called for a time out. The team came back strong as they staged a solid attack that left Botswana defenseless as they took the lead.
The teams went for half time with the score line of 38 for Mozambique and 34 for Botswana.
In the second half, Mozambique came back sharper as they played a fast-paced game stretching the lead with Machave and Hugo Martins forming a tight combination up front.
However, Botswana’s Robert Mosalakatane brought back the momentum with a three pointer that left the spectators in celebration.
In the last quarter of the match, the game was more balanced as both teams were now playing more of a defensive game than attacking with the score line at a stand still of 63- 64 with Botswana in the lead.
Tension grew in the last two minutes as both teams were fighting for the top spot, Setlhare helped Botswana stretch the lead to 68 points but Baggio Chimozo disappointed the hosts with a score that gave Mozambique the lead leaving them the winners. The game ended 69- 68. Botswana coach Tynos Moyo revealed that he was impressed by the team’s performance despite the loss.
“Today’s performance shows that we have greatly improved comparing to previous games where we lost by big margins,” he said.
The gaffer stated that the last minute score by Chimozo cost them dearly as Mozambique used experience to their advantage to win the game against the Botswana side made of youngsters.
Meanwhile, the Botswana vice captain, Mphato announced his retirement after the match. The 36- year old said he would only focus on club basketball. He is currently turning out for BDF Basketball team.
Karabo Geche, Dumezweni Setlhare, Michael Masilo, Robert Mosalakatane, Kesobaka Ndawanyana, Thuto Shai, Thatayaone Mokgethi, Tshepo Mixon, Emmanuel Ramoshebi, Thato Gaborone, Israel Mophato, Eric Sentogo- Lukwago
Francisco Macaringue, Baggio Chimozo, Hugo Martins, Ermelindo Novela, Ivan Machave, Stelio Nuaila, Yuri Chabal, Egidio Zandamela, Helton Ubisse, Ivan Cossa, Aurelio Chizame