Dinaledi suffer defeat in Africa Cup opener

Dinaledi PIC: BONA
Dinaledi PIC: BONA

The senior netball team, Dinaledi, suffered a 50-41 defeat at the hands of hosts Namibia in the opener of the Africa Netball Cup yesterday.

Dinaledi are battling for Africa glory in Windhoek and are up against the hosts, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. The team entered the tournament as the third-lowest ranked side as they are placed 27th in the world.

In their first game played on Tuesday evening, Dinaledi were forced to chase the game from the first whistle with the host dominating proceedings. The local girls were three points behind after the first quarter and by halftime, Dinaledi were trailing by just six points, 25-19. The Namibians maintained the six-point lead by the end of the third quarter as it ended 36-30. Going into the final quarter, it looked like Dinaledi could stage a comeback as the level of play looked even. However, Namibia held on to win the match by nine points. Speaking after the match, Dinaledi coach, Sithulile Mlotshwa said she was disappointed with the team’s defence and hinted at a new defensive strategy ahead of the next game against Malawi this afternoon.

“At the beginning, we thought we would make it, but it was tough. We lost most of our turnovers. I would say we lost on mental strength. Namibia was stronger than us, so going forward we will be closing all the spaces of the defenders before we attack the ball. (Going forward) I think the best way will be to pole mark the shooters because all the time we tried to do 1v1 and it did not work. So we are going to do offline marking defence,” Mlotshwa said. Dinaledi take on Malawi at 3pm this afternoon. Malawi began the tournament with a 70-36 win over Zambia yesterday. Defending champions, South Africa beat Zimbabwe 78-27 while Uganda brushed aside Tanzania 77-29. The tournament ends on November 16, 2021.

Dinaledi PIC: BONA
Dinaledi PIC: BONA

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