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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Busy sporting weekend in store

Matlama looking to celebrate this weekend
This weekend is a busy sporting affair headlined by the Independence Cup championship at Setsoto Stadium. The annual showpiece contested by Lesotho’s top four teams from the previous league season will be disputed by Lioli, Matlama, LCS and Sundawana this year.

The tournament kicks off today with the semi-finals with the final on Sunday.

Today’s action starts at 1pm with league champions Lioli battling Sundawana before Matlama and LCS go head-to-head at 3pm.

The winner of this year’s Independence Cup, which is celebrating Lesotho’s 50th independence anniversary, will take home a record M150 000 cheque.

Tickets for both days are M20 for the open stands and M30 for the Royal Stand. Because of the Independence Cup, there are no Vodacom Premier League or A-Division games scheduled for this weekend.

There is also plenty of basketball action to enjoy this weekend with a total of nine games in the National Basketball League today and Sunday.

Today the show takes place at the Lesotho College of Education with four ladies league games and one A-Division encounter. The pick of the ladies action is log leaders and reigning champions Lichocha Shooting Rifles facing South Warriors while two unbeaten teams clash when Leseli meet Bokamoso South.

The lone A-Division game will see Leseli face hosts LCE. The action begins at 9am.

On Sunday the action moves at the CTC courts with four games starting from 10:30.

The sole ladies match-up will see Rovers play South Warriors. In the A-Division, LCE will tackle Khubestate and Bokamoso North will face Lerotholi Polytechnic. The weekend’s schedule will then conclude with the main event which is the battle between reigning champions KTA All-Stars and rivals Bashana Baheso at 3pm.
KTA All-Stars and Bashana Baheso meet again
One NBL game has already been played. Last night Lichocha shot to the top of the A-Division with a 118-27 demolition of Limkokwing University.

This weekend’s NBL action:
Saturday at LCE
09:00 LCE v Bashana Baheso (Ladies League)
10:30 Bokamoso North v Leseli (L)
12:00 Bokamoso South v KTA All-Stars (L)
13:00 South Warriors v Shooting Rifles (L)
15:00 Leseli v LCE (A-Division)

Sunday at CTC
10:30 LCE v Khubestate (A)
12:00 Rovers v South Warriors (L)
13:30 Bokamoso North v Lerotholi Polytechnic (A)
15:00 Bashana Baheso v KTA All Stars (A)

There is cricket action as well with the 35 Overs Championship continuing with three fixtures this weekend. Today, Tigers host NUL Vampires at PTC from 11am. On Sunday, Linare host Bails in Hlotse and Lerotholi Polytechnic face Tigers at PTC. Both matches start at 11am.

Cricket action this weekend:
35 Overs Championship
Saturday: Tigers v NUL Vampires (PTC) 11:00
Sunday: Linare v Bails (Hlotse) 11:00
Sunday: Lerotholi Polytechnic v Tigers (PTC) 11:00

Finally, the start and finish for this year’s Motul Roof of Africa will be situated at Bushman’s Pass between Likalaneng and Nazareth, race organisers have announced.

The new location is not the race’s traditional Bushman’s Finish but a bit further away. The Bushman’s Pass area will be the start and finish for the time trial and for the racing sections on the final two days.

Race organisers also released details on the areas for service crews, officials, the Motul bike wash and vendors. The Roof of Africa will run from November 30 to December 3.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Alfredo Gomez joins star-studded Roof of Africa line-up

Alfredo Gomez will be aiming to add his name to the Roof's roll of honour
South African off-road rider Alfredo Gomez has been confirmed as the latest entrant for the 2016 Motul Roof of Africa motorbike race.

The KTM-SA rider joins a star-studded cast that includes compatriot Wade Young who became the youngest winner of the event in 2012 when he claimed victory at the age of 18. Another top ranked South African rider, Altus De Wet, has also been confirmed for this year’s Roof of Africa.

The annual showpiece race, nicknamed the Mother of Hard Enduro, will run from November 30 to December 3. Race organisers have promised a special spectacle to mark Lesotho’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations.

Staying with adventure sports and there is only one week to go until the CrankChaos Mountain Bike Festival which is set to be held at the Afriski Mountain Ski Resort in Butha-Buthe.

The mountain bike expo will start next Thursday and will run until Sunday.

Organisers are promising a one of a kind event in Southern Africa that will bring together the biggest names in mountain biking. The CrankChaos Mountain Bike Festival will exhibit the latest mountain bike tech and will also allow participants to test and rate the equipment on show.

The festival will be more than just an expo, however.

Riders will be able to compete in various mountain bike disciplines. The races will include an African first called “The Downhill Eliminator” which organisers have described as a thrilling contest down the challenging mountain trails at the Afriski course.

To football, and Sundawana have vowed to shock favourites Lioli when the sides meet in the Independence Cup on Saturday at Setsoto Stadium. The teams clash in the first semi-final of the Top 4 tournament and Sundawana spokesman Bokang Phasumane said Tse Bo Yellow are prepared and motivated to beat Lioli.

Face-to-face: Sundawana and Lioli set to face-off on Saturday
The winner of the match will advance to face Matlama or LCS in Sunday’s final. The champion of this year’s Independence Cup will go home with an epic jackpot of M150 000.

Finally, there will be volleyball league action this weekend with men’s and women’s play at the LCS and LDF courts. The eight men’s and women’s teams in the league are divided into two pools and the groups will play at different locations.

On the men’s side, Pool A teams Red Skins, Mahlaseli, LMPS and Under-20 will play at LCS while Pool B teams LDF, Green Spikes, Mazenod and Limkokwing University will battle at LDF.

In women’s action, Red Skins, LMPS, Green Spikes and Under-20 in Pool A will face-off at LCS while Pool B teams Mahlaseli, LDF, Limkokwing University and Rovers will play at LDF.

The action starts at 09:00 on Saturday.

Lichocha look to go top against Limkokwing University

Lichocha Shooting Rifles (in white) can go top of NBL
The National Basketball League (NBL) continues on Friday evening with an interesting A-Division match-up between struggling a Limkokwing University outfit and second placed Lichocha Shooting Rifles.

The game will be played at the Lehakoe Recreation Centre with the tip-off at 18:00.

A win for Lichocha would see them jump to the top of the standings, ahead of current leaders Bokamoso South.

Lichocha, who led the regular season standings last season before falling in the NBL playoffs semi-finals, are just a point behind Bokamoso. They go into Friday's game fresh off a 134-35 thumping of LCE in their last outing. Limkokwing, on the other hand, are yet to win this season and languish in tenth place.

To football, and Vodacom Premier League outfit Sundawana have ruled out a return to the club for former coach Bob Mafoso.

The Butha-Buthe side are searching for a new coach after they sacked Sidwell Mothea last Wednesday for going winless in his six games in charge.

Mafoso inspired Sundawana to a surprise fourth place finish in the premiership last season and he has since been linked with a return to Tse Bo Yellow in the wake of Mothea’s departure.

Mafoso left Sundawana in July to join Bantu as an assistant coach but he remains a fan favourite in Butha-Buthe.

And Sundawana have struggled this season in Mafoso’s absence. They lie in tenth place in the Vodacom Premier League with just one win from seven games.

On Saturday, Sundawana face Lioli at Setsoto Stadium in the first semi-final of this year's Independence Cup

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2016 Independence Cup launched

Matlama and LCS will face-off in the Independence Cup
The 2016 Independence Cup was launched on Tuesday afternoon at a lively ceremony at the Bambatha Tšita Sports Arena. The yearly showpiece which is sponsored by Metropolitan Lesotho and Standard Bank Lesotho will take centre stage this weekend at Setsoto Stadium.

The Independence Cup is Lesotho’s oldest cup competition and features the top four teams from the previous league season. This year the honour belongs to Lioli, Matlama, LCS and Sundawana.

To mark Lesotho’s 50th independence anniversary, Metropolitan and Standard Bank have announced they are sponsoring this year’s edition to a record tune of M600 000 with the winners set to claim a M150 000 jackpot, M50 000 more than last year’s champions.

The team that finishes second, meanwhile, will go home with M60 000 while third place will receive M40 000. The fourth placed team will collect M30 000.

Awards for individual brilliance will also be on offer.

There will be match of the match awards worth M1000 for each semi-final as well as the third-place playoff and final. The competition’s top goal-scorer will also end the weekend M2500 richer while the goalkeeper of the tournament will win M2000.

The main individual prize is for the player of the tournament who is set to go home with a M3000 cheque. There will also be awards for the referee and assistant referee of the tournament worth M2000 each.
2016 Indepedence Cup lift off...
The launch also saw the launch of the home and away jerseys the four teams will use during the tournament.

To conclude, tournament organisers promised a unique two-day bonanza of football. The action will begin on Saturday with the first semi-final between Lioli and Sundawana at 1pm. The second semi between Matlama and LCS will then follow at 3pm.

The two losing semi-finalists will then contest the third-place playoff in Sunday’s first game before the main event to decide the winner of M150 000 wraps up proceedings.

2016 Independence Cup Awards:
Man of the Match (all four matches): M1 000
Player of the Tournament: M3 000
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: M2 000
Top Goal-scorer: M2 500
Referee of the Tournament: M2 000
Assistant Referee of the Tournament: M2 000

Lioli v Sundawana (13:00)
Matlama v LCS (15:00)
Third-place playoff (13:00)
Final (15:00)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Moyeni Primary rules Quthing rugby

Rugby fever at the Berltex Quthing rugby schools tournament
Moyeni Primary School were crowned champions in the both the girls and boys competitions in the first-ever Berltex Quthing rugby schools tournament held this past weekend.

The tournament was held at Villa Maria in Quthing and saw the best rugby school teams from the district battling for bragging rights.

The competition was part of a drive by the Federation Lesotho Rugby to boost grassroots development in the country. The FLR is planning similar events in Teyateyaneng and Leribe.

The Berltex Quthing tournament was also attended by Lesotho national coach Roy Zhou-Nyasha and Likatola captain Samuel Takama who kept an eye on Quthing’s upcoming talent.

To athletics and Lesotho has selected a team of 12 athletes to represent the country at the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games set for December in Angola.

The Under-20 championships will begin on December 4.

The team includes 18-year old prospect Tšepang Sello who competed in the 800 metres at the 2016 Rio Olympics in August.  One athlete, however, has been expelled from the squad after misrepresenting their age.