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Chikomo tips Orapa United to win Mascom Top 8

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Prolific Orapa United striker Ronald Chikomo thinks his team can scoop the coveted Mascom Top 8 trophy in their first campaign of the popular tournament affectionately known as ‘Tse Di Tona’.

Chikomo is an authority when it comes to winning the Top 8. He has won the Top 8 twice before with his beloved Gaborone United (GU). Chikomo was speaking during an interview over the weekend after his team Orapa United played to a one-all draw with BDF XI in a Top 8 semis final staged at the Itekeng stadium in Orapa.

“By all means it is not easy to reach the Top 8 semi-finals. This is a rare chance that comes once in a while,” said the striker, who helped Gaborone United win the Top 8 cup during the 2012/13 and the 2014/15 seasons.  Chikomo said they will be ready for BDF during the second leg of the games scheduled for the Francistown sports complex next month.

“I think we started the game in a slow pace because it was very hot we are used to playing most of our games at night,” Chikomo said after drawing with Matebele. The robust and free scoring GU legend said he was happy with his move to the Ostriches of Orapa thus far.

“I am happier at Orapa as I am enjoying more game time. It has been three months since I arrived and the team has given me everything I need,” said Chikomo who scored Orapa United’s only goal on Sunday. 

Meanwhile, BDF will have their hands full with not just Chikomo but the Ostriches’ newest signing, Onkabetse Makganthai. The former Nico United star is currently in scintillating form having changed the complexion of the   game when he came in as a substitute for Chikomo in the second half.  

“This is only my fourth game with   Orapa. I have been great playing for the team so far. Remember that   we are on a winning streak having gone 20 games without a loss.”

Makgantai said the fans in Orapa have received him with open arms adding that the team will deliver the cup after they proceed to the   Top 8 final. “The coach said I should deliver in every game and he was happy with the result against BDF.” For his part Ostriches’ headcoach Madinda Ndlovu   said he was   confident that his team will   win in the second leg of the semi finals.

“We played to a one all draw and this is a game that has its pros and cons, my team is more than capable of scoring. I need two goals to win and proceed to the final.” “This is the Mascom Top 8 and it is all about who wants it the most. How my boys to the goal against them and how they responded showed character.

They came back from    behind and fought hard for the draw.”  A content Ndlovu also took time to sing praises for Makgantai, his latest acquisition adding that he was a good player who will be important in helping to win games in the future.

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Well-endowed Galaxy

Isaac Pheko

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FIRE POWER: Galaxy await Rollers

It is only the third week of the 2018/19 BTC Premiership and things are already heating up. Leading the charge is a marauding Jwaneng Galaxy who have already thrown a heavy-handed gauntlet at their rivals after recording a highly impressive 10 goals in just two games.

Galaxy’s intention has been made clear this season after leaving their first two opponents with bloody noses and tails tucked between their legs. The former Mascom Top 8 champions are in a relentless war path with the premier league title on their radar. This weekend, Galaxy host bitter rivals Township Rollers in Jwaneng in what is expected to be a football grudge match. Rollers have been a prickly thorn in Galaxy’s quest to claim the premiership silverware for the past two seasons.

This means the weekend fixture will be the most compelling of the new season. However, Galaxy seem to be packing more heat coming into the Saturday fixture having annihilated both Prisons XI (5-0) and Security Systems (5-0). Galaxy are currently occupying first position alongside second place Sharps Shooting Stars at six points apeice. The game against Popa this weekend will be a litmus test for Galaxy. If the Debswana backed side beats the reigning champions they will establish themselves as potential contenders for the 2018/19 title honours. On the flipside, a loss against Rollers will only mean the first two games were short of a bluff.

Pound for pound Mapalastina have the best squad in the domestic league but a new look Galaxy are well endowed in their own right. In an interview this week, Galaxy spokesperson Tankiso Morake said they played Rollers three times last season and all the games ended in a draw. “Remember we played Rollers in the Mascom Top 8 in Lobatse,” an up-beat Morake said. Morake further said they expected their new coach to receive his permits and start manning the bench when they play Rollers this weekend. “Our supporters have told us that they expected nothing less than league honours this season.” Morake attributes the positive result to a great pre-season.

“You will remember that there was a fake list in the media indicating that we have parted ways with most of our players. You can see that the likes of Ayanda Molefe and Isaac Paeye are still part of the team. There is a lot of competition in our team because we mostly have young players in the team including Lebogang Ditsile who played at Highlands Park in South Africa.” Furthermore, Morake conceded that Rollers are a strong team but argued that they will win the games from the technical bench. “You will remember that we started the last season back tracking but this time things are different.”

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Bridge team fails to impress

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The local team comprised of under 16, under 21 and under 26 categories. In an interview this week, BBF spokesperson Mbakiso Malilo did not mince his words when he described the team’s performance as terrible with all the three teams failing to qualify for the quarter finals.

“Making it to the quarter finals was our target following a good showing in the online championship by our junior team. I believe we can work on improving the playing standard for kids (under 16) as they still stand a chance to compete in the under 21 and under 26 categories for future championships,” he said.

However, Malilo explained that the local youth team gained a lot of experience as the played against more advanced rivals. Quizzed on challenges they faced with a predominantly youthful team, Malilo said: “the trip was too long and for most of the players this was their first experienced of travelling such a great distance. The jet lag ended up affecting the team’s performance as they showed signs of fatigue.” Malilo said their objective was to train young players and give them exposure to the game early on.

“We managed to network with bridge power houses like the Netherlands. Official from the European country expressed interest in training our kids through bridge clinics and enhancing the standard of play and bidding.” Malilo said they selected the junior team that travelled to China through local tournament that was held in Gaborone earlier this year. The tournament was attend by mostly tertiary school students and out of school youth in the junior and youngsters’ category. For the under 16 category we invited student from secondary schools.

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