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Kepaletswe a gift to local basketball

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Olebile Kepaletswe is one mastermind behind Botswana Basketball and he aspires to see the sport reaching greater heights in the country. The passionate coach has been part of the Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) since 2004. Through his industry Kepaletswe has helped to form and nurture a total number of 20 basketball teams in the North Central district.

The basketball coach boasts of an impressive resume that includes FIBA Level 1 certificate, Zonal Coordinator (North Central), and refresher courses in coaching and officiating as well as coaching Central during Botswana Games amongst others. Some of Kepaletswe’s accolades include seven gold medals, two silver medals for girls’ team, one silver medal and two silver medals with the boys’ team at Boineelo Junior School between 2007 and 2016. Kepaletswe’s passion for the hoop game was ignited after he established the Tshwaragano CJSS basketball. Shortly after its formation the team qualified for the nationals. Nevertheless, Kepaletswe who is a teacher by profession, said there are some people in the sports industry who do not recognise Basketball as a serious sport. “Generally Botswana call it ball ya ma cat and perceive it to be expensive in terms of sneakers, therefore that somehow becomes a barrier for one champion out there not to utilise their talent,” he said.

Kepaletswe is of the view that most parents of Tswana medium schools do not really support Basketball players, adding that it poises the sport as being undermined. “The sport also lacks sponsorship to the extent that the league is not running since the teams are not able to meet some requirements,” he said. He stated that Basketball is the second most watched sport after football in the world and the second fastest sport after ice hockey, thereby if taken seriously in Botswana it can create better jobs for the young upcoming Basketball players.

Meanwhile the Botswana Basketball Association, Boineelo Hardy said that she really believes much in Kepaletswe because he has been in Basketball for a long time. In an interview this week, Hardy labelled him as a dedicated person in local basketball. “I am grateful for people like him because he is dedicated to the growth of Basketball. Just recently he was one of the coaches that were drafted into mobilising the three on three for fewer than 18 and as usual he is taking it on board.

They don’t even get paid but he definitely gives his time to Basketball and since he became a BISA coach in 2012, the team has always brought medals home.” Hardy said people like Kepaletswe offer inspiration and motivation for children in the sport. “They work for these activities to happen for children and not themselves. Without people like him Basketball would have a very hard time growing because we do not have enough funds to pay people to do it but he does it out of love and he does it well too,” explained Hardy. Through his skill, he has also collaborated with BDF 5 and organised an annual pre-season tournament and coaching clinic, while recruiting and helping upcoming coaches in Basketball.

He has also been a full time coach for BISA under 17 girls team for COSASA Games since 2012 to date. Kepaletswe’s dream is to see coaches and players of Basketball being sent to countries like The USA and Cuba to learn more. “It would also be ideal to at least send them to countries including Angola, Egypt, Tunisia or Senegal as these are some of the power houses of Basketball in Africa.” Kepaletswe is confident that Botswana teams will play better during the anticipated Zone VI Basketball Champions Cup to be held in Gaborone next month.

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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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