Motlakase break softball duck

Rare feat: Motlakase are through to the Komatsu Independence trophy independence trophy tournament
Rare feat: Motlakase are through to the Komatsu Independence trophy independence trophy tournament

PALAPYE: Motlakase men’s softball team has qualified for the men’s Komatsu Independence Trophy following qualifiers held in Francistown over the weekend, ending years of drought.

The tournament will be held in Jwaneng during the Independence holidays.

The last time Motlakase men’s side qualified for a tournament was in 2000 when they made it to the now defunct Shell Easter Tournament.

Eight teams participated in the weekend eliminators in a bid to grab the four spots reserved for the northern zone. The teams were drawn into two pools of four sides each. The top two teams made it from each pool. Carats and Rebels made it from Group One, which also had Scramblers and Raptures while Motlakase and Rail Giants emerged from Group Two. Deltas and Ghetto Yankees were the other teams in the group. As usual, powerhouses, Rail Giants finished top after winning all their games.

Motlakase succumbed to Rail Giants 1-8, before demolishing Deltas with the same margin and then edging Ghetto Yankees 4-2 to finish second in the group, which earned them a place in the finals.

Motlakase coach, Tebogo Johannes said they have been a grooming side. However, they always lost players after completing secondary school.

“You see we have been always grooming students and then when they complete school they leave. Now we have structures for continuity, we are still grooming players but we have made sure to sign contract extensions. We now have players who are in tertiary in Gaborone and we have agreements with teams in Gaborone to have our players train with them,” Johannes said.

He said their success at the eliminators was a result of hard work and determination. He also sent out a warning to doubting rivals. “This time around we have prepared extensively for these games.

Prior to the eliminators we organised two training camps where we had all our players train together and we are happy with the result of our efforts.

“Our intention is to go to Jwaneng and get a better position. We want to showcase that we are here and whoever will take us for granted will learn a hard lesson,” he said.


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