Clubs step up Summer Slam tourney preps

Clubs step up Summer Slam tourney preps

MASERU  – National Basketball League (NBL) teams are gearing up for next week’s Summer Slam Charity Tournament set for the Lehakoe Recreation Centre. Registration for the annual tournament closes on Friday and the Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) says it is expecting teams from outside the country to add international flavour to the event.

Several foreign teams have already confirmed their participation including clubs from Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The LBA hosts the tournament every year as a way of giving back to the community while also exposing basketball to a new audience with the hope of attracting new followers to the sport.

One team finalising their plans for the Summer Slam showpiece are the defending champions Bokamoso South.
The side’s head coach, Faku Masupha, said his charges are hard at work preparing for the championship despite a difficult start to the NBL season which sees the reigning national champions lying fourth on the league rankings.

As part of their preparations, Bokamoso were in action this past weekend in a tournament to mark the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign — an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.
The theme for the tournament was ‘Leave No One Behind, Fight Violence Against Women’. Masupha said the aim of the competition was to challenge men and women to take part in sport.

“We hosted the tournament to commemorate the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” he said.
“We were advocating prevention of violence against women through sports and we were also educating people about gender-based violence.”
Masupha added: “With this tournament we were also encouraging men to join sports, come to the ground and play. When you are angry, if you come to the ground and play, by the time you go home you would have calmed down. Women also don’t talk about violence they endure in their families, but if they can come to the ground, exercise, learn how to open up (and) talk they will eventually start talking about these things. But, most importantly, we were still selling basketball to the people.”

Bokamoso emerged winners of the tournament by beating Limkokwing University 37-35 in a tightly-contested final.
Masupha said there are lot of positives they will be taking from the weekend’s outing going into the Summer Slam next week.
“It was a great tournament, very competitive and vibrant,” he said.

“We played this weekend,” he added. “Some people are going to the Summer Slam having last played two weeks ago so in terms of match fitness we are better than them, that’s the advantage (we have).”
“Another great thing is that we have been struggling in the league and we had an opportunity to give our fringe players a chance to play without pressure of winning. So we are good and I think we have a lot to take to the Summer Slam as well as the league,” Masupha said.

Luciah Phahla

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