Stars buoy­ant ahead of bas­ket­ball play­offs

Sunday Express - - SPORT -

KTa all Stars coach Bokang Pharela is con­fi­dent his team would be crowned league cham­pi­ons af­ter next month’s play-offs.

The Khu­bet­soana-based fe­male side fin­ished top of the 10-team Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League (NBL) ta­ble with 25 points, while de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, Shoot­ing Ri­fles were sec­ond (22) and Bashana Ba Heso (18) are third and Bokamoso north are fourth.

Stars have al­ready com­pleted their league matches while the oth­ers are left with one match each but can­not reach 25 points.

The four top teams would now have to go for semis and then the fi­nal, but Pharela be­lieves his charges have enough ta­lent to win the ti­tle.

“we still have to play play­offs next month af­ter the male league has ended so there is still a way to go to clinch­ing that ti­tle.

“But the fact that we fin­ished the sea­son at the sum­mit shows we have what it takes to chal­lenge for hon­ours,” Pharela said.

Pharela, who plays for KTa all Stars male team, said his side only lost one of their 18 matches.

“we only lost once to the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, Shoot­ing Ri­fles, so that is one of the things that give me hope go­ing to the play­offs,” he said.

How­ever, Pharela ad­mit­ted the team trav­elled a road filled with chal­lenges but still man­aged to pre­vail.

“It wasn’t easy at all be­cause we are a big team and ev­ery side wanted to beat us. But I would like to give all the praise to my play­ers be­cause they showed char­ac­ter and never let chal­lenges dis­cour­age them. There were times we would be short of play­ers due to their dif­fer­ent com­mit­ments but those who were there still man­aged to do the job,” said Pharela.

“The com­mit­ment they showed through­out the sea­son is one of the main rea­sons that put us where we are now. The play­ers re­sponded well to how I wanted them to play so things were much eas­ier for us and if we con­tinue play­ing the way we did, I don’t see any team beat­ing us in the play­offs.”

Sun­dawana mid­fielder Ra­booana Koloti. LiKhopo de­fender Ti­lane Tau.

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