BOTSWANA : Troopers on course to defend title

Correspondent Mmegi 20/5/2011

FRANCISTOWN: Defending basketball league champions, Troopers, have made a blistering start to the season by winning its first three matches.Troopers look set to retain the title after accounting for old enemy, BDF V 61-31 and new boys, Dolphins 82-58 and NIIT 110-57. The holders have maximum points after they got a bye because Eagles failed to turn up for their game.

Francistown-based Flames have shown improvement this season losing only once in four games. The loss came in the derby against Splinters. Flames are second in the standings with seven points. Eagles and Bullets are struggling at the bottom with one point each. It will be a busy weekend for most clubs as a full programme is underway.

Troopers face Spartans tonight before Dolphins meet Cadets at the UB Courts. Tomorrow, Splinters lock horns with the struggling Eagles in Selebi-Phikwe as Falcons face Bullets before playing Eagles. Meanwhile, at the University of Botswana, NIIT face army giants, BDF V in the women's league. Spartans meet Drillers while Police take on BDF in the evening.

Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) chairperson Kabo Khama said the league has started well although some games were postponed due to bad weather and poor light. 'We hope to have fewer of those weatherrelated disruptions going forward since it is winter.

'Recently, we had minor issues with lighting at the UB Courts but UB administration has attended to the problem,' he said. Khama is happy with the performance of the three clubs registered at the beginning of the season.

'In terms of new clubs, I think they have done reasonably well with Dolphins getting a couple of wins. 'But as the season progresses, the log table has taken a familiar look with Troopers sitting pretty at the top. It looks like this might be the year Flames finally break into the top four. On the other end of the scale, Cadet has started rather slowly,' Khama said.

Panthers are looking good in the women's section but once again, the 'usual suspects', Police and BDF, seem to have an edge. Relics are struggling but they are rebuilding after losing a few of their players to Panthers. Splinters women are in for a tough season looking at their last game, which they lost.