- They snatch third consecutive titles this year after triumphs at inaugural Lefika Table Tennis Tournament and Botswana Open
Bakang Maloka of Moshopa Spinners and Tshepiso Rebatenne of Nhabe Table Tennis Club have proved beyond all doubt that they are the most consistent and dominant forces in table tennis in Botswana.
This comes after the two successfully defended their Phoenix Assurance National Super League titles in Gaborone over the weekend.
It was Maloka and Rebatenne’s third consecutive titles this year following triumphs at the inaugural Lefika Table Tennis Tournament and the Botswana Open championships in February.
14 out of 14
Maloka finished the Super League at the summit of the log standings with 26 points from 14 games. He only lost 2 and won 12 ahead of Thobo Matlhatsi of BDF and Boago Malobela of Smash Maniacs, who finished second and third respectively, in the process.
Rebatenne maintained a clean sheet throughout the season, defending the title she won last year magnificently by winning 14 out of 14 games. She also won all previous tournaments played this year, including Lefika Tournament and the national championships.
Rebatenne proved to be too strong for all of her opponents and contenders since the retirement of her close rival, Boitshwarelo Butale, who has since settled for developing and nurturing talent.
Olorato Ramagapu of Smash Maniacs finished second with 24 points while Constance Kuswani of BDF finished third with 23 points.
In an exclusive interview with Gazette Sports, Maloka said he was happy to have won the title which he attributed to hard work and dedication throughout the season. “It was not an easy journey but I am happy that I won,” he said.
“I was facing a tough challenge from opponents that I respect and applaud for the efforts they made. I would say this was one of the most challenging leagues I have ever played in and I hope to maintain my form until the end of the year so I do well at regional and international events.”
Homage to younger players
For her part, Rebatenne said her consistency and dominance is the result of the threat that the younger players pose before every title competition in which she participates.
“Playing the same players time and again comes with pressure because they have studied my style and technique,” she said. “Because they also improve day by day, it calls for more hard work and dedication on my part.”