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BBH, KTA in showdown



Luciah Phahla


Bashana Ba Heso (BBH) coach Tšepo Makhupane has vowed to sink rivals KTA All Stars when the titans collide on Saturday in the deciding tie of their three-game playoffs series.

The reigning National Basketball League (NBL) champions face this must-win situation after squandering a 1-0 series lead with a 60-50 defeat to KTA in the second game last Sunday.

The two juggernauts are now locked at 1-1 with the winner of the high profile semi-final series to be decided in what is set to be a pulsating Game 3 at Lehakoe Recreational Centre.

And, after contesting the previous two NBL finals, Makhupane said neither BBH nor KTA wants to go home at the semi-final stage. He stressed BBH need a strong response in Saturday’s final game and added mental strength will be decisive.

Reflecting on the Game 2 loss to KTA, Makhupane said his players were guilty of veering away from the team’s normal style and playing “individual basketball”.

“Nothing really went wrong for us (in the second game), I just think we stopped playing our game and feared that we might lose the game and then we started playing individual basketball. For the next game we have to be mentally strong,” Makhupane told thepost on Tuesday.

“For KTA the second game was a survival day, they brought in some other guy from Bloemfontein (South Africa) and I think experience worked for them,” he said.

BBH and KTA have dominated local basketball over the past two years and have monopolised all available trophies over the last 12 months.

BBH edged KTA 3-2 in a stirring NBL finals series last May and, last July, KTA won the Memorial Independence Tournament.

BBH also got the better of KTA at the Summer Slam Charity Tournament last December while the teams also faced off in the 2014 NBL finals won by KTA.

Makhupane said his players need no added motivation when the clubs clash.

“This game itself motivates the players and we must come prepared on the weekend. Skill, talent and experience do count in this kind of game but I always believe hunger to win carries you over,” he said.

“No one wants to go home at this stage because the team that loses gets knocked out. We are ready to put up a fight (to) win this game and proceed to the next round.”

Meanwhile, KTA coach Tšepo Ntsoele was bullish about his side’s chances saying he is confident of sweeping aside BBH and proceeding to the finals.

He said although KTA won Game 2, his charges have plenty of room for improvement.

“We made mistakes in the first game and I think we played 30 percent of our potential. In the second game there is nothing right that we did, we played 70 percent of our potential. We made mistakes and we are already working on them,” Ntsoele declared.

He continued: “We have to be prepared for the game and I am confident that we will win this game. I have to be confident as the coach, the players must see me confident and that will also give them confidence.”

The other playoff semi-final has also gone to a winner-takes-all third game after top seeded Lichocha Shooting Rifles stormed back to wallop Bokamoso South 81-68 in Game 2 last Saturday. The sides meet at Lehakoe Recreational Centre on Sunday.

There are also do-or-die ties in the ladies league with BBH and KTA facing off and in the development league where the loser of Bokamoso North against Buffalos will go home.

NBL Play-offs

Game 2 results:

A League

KTA All Stars 60-50 BBH (Series tied 1-1)

Bokamoso South 68-81 Lichocha Shooting Rifles (Series tied 1-1)

Ladies league

Bokamoso North 33-62 Lichocha Shooting Rifles (Lichocha won the series 2-0)

KTA 34-42 BBH (Series tied 1-1)

Development (B League)

Bokamoso North 36-30 Buffalos (Series tied 1-1)

Bokamoso South 45-42 South Warriors (Bokamoso won the series 2-0)


Game 3


A League

KTA All Stars vs. BBH

Bokamoso South vs. Lichocha Shooting Rifles

Ladies League


Development (B League)

Bokamoso North vs. Buffalos

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