Ntsoele refuses to throw in towel

Ntsoele refuses to throw in towel

Luciah Phahla

Maseru

KTA coach Tšepo Ntsoele is refusing to throw in the towel ahead of Sunday’s make or break National Basketball League playoffs tie against champions Bashana Ba Heso (BBH).

KTA trail their rivals 1-0 in the best-of-three semi-final series after a 51-41 loss in Game 1 last Saturday and another defeat at the Lehakoe Recreational Centre would end their season.

With the prospect of an early shower looming, Ntsoele vowed KTA will be a different animal when the epic rivalry writes its next chapter on Sunday.

The two local juggernauts have contested the previous two NBL finals with KTA winning in 2014 and BBH victorious last year.

However, thanks to the rise of upstarts Lichocha Shooting Rifles, who claimed top spot in the regular season, KTA and BBH are meeting in the semi-finals this time around and one will have to go home earlier than normal.

Ntsoele insisted it won’t be KTA and said his side remains primed for the NBL championship.

“We were a little bit slow in the first game and this time around we want to comeback faster. I don’t want to say much, I don’t want to reveal our secrets,” Ntsoele told thepost yesterday.

“We are definitely aiming for the championship. We also played without our key players in Game 1 and I think those that were available lacked a little confidence. It will be different on Sunday,” he said.

In the other playoff semi-final, Lichocha coach Bokang Sehlabaka also fired warning shots at his opponent. Lichocha are in trouble after fourth seeds Bokamoso South grabbed a shock 1-0 series lead with a 75-63 victory last Sunday.

Nevertheless, Sehlabaka claimed the defeat is a wakeup call and said Lichocha will be more prepared for Game 2.

“I think we did not execute our game-plan well and the loss was a wakeup call for us that in the NBL there is no small team at all,” he said.

“I think we can win the championship. We won the league so, yes, I am confident about the championship as well,” Sehlabaka asserted.

Meanwhile, six NBL teams will compete at the Swaziland Invitational Basketball Tournament scheduled to take place on June 24 to 26.

The group of six will consist of three teams from the A-League and three from the Ladies League. BBH, KTA All Stars and Lichocha Shooting Rifles are the A-League sides while ladies league will be represented by KTA, Lichocha and Rovers.

Eight countries including Lesotho will be participating in Swaziland. Teams from Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Malawi are also set to compete at the event.

Only Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe will be represented by the maximum of six teams.

The NBL has also revealed the first batch of its end of season awards. In the Most Offensive Player category, Lichocha’s Khotso Maseela won the A-League honour while the ladies’ award went to Bokamoso South’s Neo Nkokoto.

The NBL awards winners

Most Defensive Player

A-League

Molale Monnapula

Ladies League

Nkhethua Makhorole

Development (B-League)

Hlauli Monne

Most Offensive Player

A-League

Khotso Maseela

Ladies League

Neo Nkokoto

Development (B-League)

Khutsana Phamotse

Most Improved Player

A-League
Moeletsi Ramoeletsi

Ladies League

Maphethe Mohale

Development (B-League)

Tseko Lekeno

Best Shooter

A-League
Tlotliso Mokhitli

Ladies League

Liteboho Sefali

Development (B-League)

Thato Moshoeshoe

 

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