Bashana Ba Heso (BBH) and Shooting Rifles were crowned National Basketball League champions at Lehakoe Recreational and Cultural Centre last weekend.
BBH beat KTA All-Stars 3-2 after a five-match series to claim the male category while Rifles won 2-0 also against KTA All-Stars in a best-of-three tournament to be crowned female champions.
BBH coach Tšepo Makhupane told the Lesotho Times that the team was thrilled to beat fiercest rivals who have dominated them for so long.
“We are very happy to have finally won the league title. I can tell you it was not easy especially after losing most of our key players in the middle of the season due to school commitments. However, credit must go to all the players who soldiered on until the last day of the competition,” Makhupane said.
“KTA beat us in the final last season and it was a very painful experience for us. But because we knew our potential, we took it as a learning curve and continued to work hard, and the determination eventually paid off.”
Makhupane highlighted that for BBH to maintain the momentum, the management would be using the current off-season to groom young talent and ensure whatever gaps left should some of the players leave, are easily plugged.
“We struggled after losing a lot of our players in the middle of the season so we will be grooming young talent now that it is off-season,” said Makhupane.
On his part, Rifles coach, Bokang Sehlabaka hailed his charges for their commitment and dedication.
“It was all about dedication, commitment and hard work. The road we travelled was tough because we were playing some very good teams, especially KTA, in the final.
“I also believe the kit sponsorship we received from Seshoeshoe played a big role in motivating the players. We were supposed to play three games but since we had won the first two, there was no need to play the last match,” Sehlabaka said.
Sehlabaka also said Rifles would embark on a grooming exercise this off-season, to ensure there is continuity in the team.
“Technically, we are a very good side, but we have a very thin squad so we will be recruiting players before the season starts,” said Sehlabaka.