Quote of the week

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Lesotho faces Zimbabwe in COSAFA Cup semi-finals

Lesotho striker Thapelo Tale (left) challenged by Namibia's Denzil Haoseb
Lesotho is one step away from reaching the final of the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup. Likuena will face Zimbabwe in the COSAFA Castle Cup semi-finals on Wednesday afternoon and the match will kick-off at 17:30 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa.

Moses Maliehe’s charges booked their place in the last four thanks to a 5-4 penalty shootout win over 2015 champions Namibia in Saturday’s quarterfinals after the match had ended goalless draw in normal time.

Minister of sport Kabelo Mafura praised Likuena’s progression to the final four of the regional showpiece being hosted in South Africa’s North West province.

“We want sports be a unifying factor for Basotho and that is what I am working towards,” Mafura added.

Before the COSAFA Cup, Mafura boosted Likuena’s tournament budget with M50 000 from his own pocket. Wednesday’s semi-final against Zimbabwe will be the second time in the past four years that Lesotho meets the Warriors at the last four stage. In 2013 in Zambia, Zimbabwe ran out 2-1 winners.

Likuena will be looking for a reversal of fortunes as they chase a first-ever international title.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Namibia looking forward to Lesotho clash at COSAFA Cup

Namibia were COSAFA Castle Cup champions in 2015...
Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti says the Brave Warriors are looking forward to the challenge of facing Lesotho in the 2017 COSAFA Castle Cup. The draw for this year’s competition was conducted two weeks ago and the sides will face-off in the quarterfinals.

Asked about the draw, Ricardo Mannetti was buoyant. He said Namibia respects Lesotho but is aiming to go all the way to the final and championship glory.

“I know Lesotho very well; they play positive football with a lot of energy. We will have to control those qualities which I think we are capable of doing,” Mannetti said.

Mannetti said Namibia’s main objective was to win to the regional showpiece, a feat they achieved for the first time in 2015 when the COSAFA Castle Cup was last hosted in South Africa.

“We aim to win the trophy and in order to do so we will have to beat Lesotho to reach the semi-finals, and ultimately the final,” he said. “But, we will take it one game at a time, because that’s what it’s all about. You can’t play the next game, before the one you have to play,” he said.

According to Mannetti, the Brave Warriors’ preparations will ultimately be more important than the opponents they will face.

“It is not much about whom we are drawn against, but rather our preparations and intensity. We have faith in our strengths and approach and we will have to perfect that and play our own way,” he said.

As in the previous three tournaments, the quarterfinal losers will contest the Plate competition.

However, for the winner of the match between Lesotho and Namibia the prospect of a Cup semi-final and final will await. In the semi-finals the two teams will either face Swaziland or the winner of Group B.

COSAFA Castle Cup draw:
Group A: Angola, Tanzania, Mauritius, Malawi
Group B: Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mozambique, Seychelles

Quarterfinals:
1 July
Match 13: Botswana v Zambia (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)
Match 14: Namibia v Lesotho (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)
2 July
Match 15: South Africa v Group A winner (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)
Match 16: Swaziland v Group B winner (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng)

Semi-finals:
5 July
Winner of Match 13 v Winner of Match 15
Winner of Match 14 v Winner of Match 16

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Lichocha women not resting after NBL championship win

Lichocha women are Lesotho's basketball queens again...
There is no rest for the wicked, as they say, and that is the case for the Lichocha Shooting Rifles ladies basketball team. Just three weeks ago Lichocha won a third successive National Basketball League (NBL) women’s title but already they are looking at ways to improve their squad.

Lichocha were crowned 2016/17 champions after beating Bokamoso North 49-45 in Game 5 of a thrilling women’s NBL finals to win the series 3-2.

It was a tightly-contested series pitting the experience of Lichocha against the youth of Bokamoso. But, in the end, Lichocha prevailed to add to titles they won in 2015 and 2016.

However, instead of celebrating, Lichocha say they are already head-hunting players to reinforce their squad. It is this attitude that can help explain why the team has won seven major trophies since 2014.

Lichocha captain Khothalo Mpeta said the team is on a scouting mission to find two players that will fill their roster. Lichocha currently have 10 players and teams are allowed to have 12. Mpeta also praised the team’s closeness as being the key to their continuing success.

“We need to recruit a few more players to make it a full team of 12 players; at the moment the team has only 10 players,” she said.

“We are successful because of the love we have between us as players,” Mpeta added. “We trust each other and everyone knows what to do on the court. The love that we all have for each other keeps the squad in high spirits.”

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Lesotho cycling manager Mark West pleased with performance at African Champs

Team Lesotho won two medals at the African MTB Championships
Lesotho cycling team manager Mark West says he is happy with the country’s performance at the African Continental MTB Cross-Country Championships that were held in Mauritius two weeks ago.

Team Lesotho was made up of a five-member squad of Phetetso Monese, Teboho Khantši, Tumelo Makae, Malefetsane Lesofe and Likeleli Masitise.

Monese and Khantsi competed in the elite men’s competition; Makae and Lesofe were in the Under-23 men’s section and Masitise competed in the elite ladies competition.

Lesotho competed against mountain bike specialists from host nation Mauritius as well as South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Morocco in the continental event that took place on May 12 to 14.

The team’s best performers were Makae, who won silver in the men’s Under-23 XCO Olympic Cross-Country race, and Likeleli Masitise who won bronze in the women’s elite race.

2016 Olympian Monese, meanwhile, only just missed out on a bronze medal. He finished fourth in the elite men’s XCO race and fifth in the marathon category. Lesofe also put in a solid display finishing sixth in the Under-23 race.

West said he was pleased with Lesotho’s medals haul and overall performance.

Likeleli Masitise (right) on the podium in Mauritius
“I am happy with their performances. I had hoped for more medals but we still did well,” he said.
“They struggled with the weather conditions but at least we managed to finish in positions five and six in the men’s (elite) category and Masitise finished third in the women’s category.”

West continued: “This shows there was commitment and I am really satisfied. We now need to go back to drawing board and wait for the Lesotho Cycling Association to tell us about our next competition.”

Lesotho is one of the world’s top nations in the mountain bike discipline. The country is ranked 30th in the world by the International Cycling Union ahead of nations such as Great Britain, Greece and China and second in Africa, only behind South Africa.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lesotho champions Bokamoso set for Swaziland showpiece

Bokamoso South (left) beat Lichocha Shooting Rifles (right)
in the 2016/17 NBL finals...
Newly-crowned 2016/17 National Basketball League (NBL) champions Bokamoso South are set to represent Lesotho at the annual Swaziland Invitational International Basketball Tournament next month.

The regional basketball showpiece will take place from June 23 to 25 in Mbabane and Bokamoso will be joined by rivals KTA All-Stars as Lesotho’s two contestants in the men’s competition.

Bokamoso’s women’s team, Bokamoso North, which lost to Lichocha Shooting Rifles in the ladies’ NBL finals, has also been invited to the Swaziland tournament.

Bokamoso South’s voyage comes after they won a first national crown to cap a dominant season. Bokamoso won 32 of their 35 games in all competitions and completed a historic treble of trophies.

In addition to the NBL title, Bokamoso also won the Sprite Memorial Independence Tournament last October and the Sprite Summer Slam Charity Tournament in December.

They have been drawn in Group B alongside Imbumbe of Swaziland, Trojans from South Africa, Petromoc of Mozambique, Savio from Tanzania and Zimbabwe’s Harare City Hornets.

The youth based Bokamoso development programme was founded in 2012 and in less than five years it has taken Lesotho basketball by storm, becoming the main feeder for Lesotho’s national teams and the team to beat in the league.

Last year, Bokamoso South reached their first-ever NBL finals before losing to KTA All-Stars. This year they went one better when they beat Lichocha Shooting Rifles 3-1 in the NBL finals.

At the moment, the club has registered four teams – two girls and two boys – in the NBL and is it planning on registering a fifth team based on growth. Bokamoso almost completed a double of wins in both the men’s and women’s championships, but Bokamoso North agonisingly lost 3-2 to Lichocha in the NBL women’s finals.

Bokamoso’s women’s team has been drawn in Group B in Swaziland where they face South Africa’s Phoenix Flames, Mozambique’s Amigas Do Basquete and Zimbabwe’s Lynx BQ.

The Swaziland Invitational International Basketball Tournament is an opportunity for Bokamoso basketball club to measure its progress on the international stage.
Champions! Bokamoso South
Swaziland Invitational Tournament Groups:

Women
Group A
V n J (South Africa)
Lady Lioness (Tanzania)
Botswana Police (Botswana)
Lakers (Zimbabwe) 

Group B
Phoenix Flames (South Africa)
Amigas Do Basquete (Mozambique)
Bokamoso (Lesotho)
Lynx B.Q (Zimbabwe)

Group C
Dolphins (Botswana)
Vixens (Zimbabwe)
Jozi Nuggets (South Africa)
Clube Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique)

Group D
Greenstars (Zimbabwe)
Lady Dynamites (Malawi)
Raptors (South Africa)
Superladies (Swaziland)

Men
Group A
Jozi Nuggets (South Africa)
Hard Steels (Swaziland)
Hustlers (Zimbabwe)
FADM (Mozambique)
Munali Suns (Zambia)
KTA All-Stars (Lesotho)

Group B
Imbumbe (Swaziland)
Trojans (South Africa)
Petromoc (Mozambique)
Savio (Tanzania)
Bokamoso (Lesotho)
Harare City Hornets (Zimbabwe)

Group C
MBB (South Africa)
Superstars (Swaziland)
Dolphins (Botswana)
Foxes (Zimbabwe)
Young Stars (Tanzania)
Central Knights (Malawi)

Group D
Jazz (Swaziland)
Phoenix (South Africa)
Newcastle Avengers (South Africa)
Craques Da Boca (Mozambique)
Mikoko (Malawi)
JBC (Zimbabwe)