Police inches closer first championship
While some people do not create their own path, some create their own destiny, for they know fortune favors the brave. The Mascom Volleyball League continued this past weekend in earnest, pitting two government forces teams, Police VI and BDF VI, against each other.
Two teams with contrasting fortunes and objectives going into the games, but nevertheless the common goal was to get full points, for Police they knew a win will take them ever closer to winning their maiden league trophy, for BDF VI, it was a case of winning so as to seek a better log position, preferably a podium finish.
As expected the game was highly charged one, a thunderous spike by Kabo Moetse, which locked the scores at 2-2 in the opening set was immediately followed by electricity paucity, prompting the officials to pause the game. Power eventually got restored and the action on the court resumed once again.
Selebatso Mabutho’s troops seemed to have wanted it more as they comfortable took the 1st set 25-20. Second set was a fiercely contested one, though Ditau as their fans call Police VI started the set well with a 4-1 lead, BDF VI grew with the set, they (BDF) trailed 19-22 at one point but pushed Police managing to get level at 24-24 and then 25-25. Cautious play was on display as both teams delivered easy serves, thus leaving the bulk of the work to the setters and the attackers, the set eventually ended 25-27 in favor Police VI, thus leveling the sets at 1-1.
The momentum seemed to be with Police VI in the 3rd set, even managing a 5 ball gap (15-10), the surge in ascendancy prompted changes for BDF VI, Kabo Moetse and Keseobaka Lenkopane making way for Mokongwa Tseme and the captain, Disang Golekanye, the move paid dividends albeit for a few points as Police had too much ammunition to thwart the army side efforts to get back into the game. Police nicked the set 25-20, to lead by 2 sets against 1 of BDF VI.
Though initially the substitution in the 3rd set didn’t pay dividends, BDF VI did profit from the rest that opposite attacker Moetse and setter Lenkopane took, they seemed energized and recharged. The BDF VI trio, Oduetse Pule, Moetse and Lakidzani James were on fire in the fourth set as they made sure BDF stayed in the match, as they delivered a 25-22 score line, to bring the sets to 2-2, and setting up a deciding set.
Depending on the execution, 5th set needs agility and sharpness as it can be a relatively short set. Police VI showed their intentions early on as they stormed to a 4-1 lead, but BDF VI weren’t ready to give in and be trampled on just as easy, they pulled up their socks got level with the cop’s side, the score became 6-6, and then for the 1st time in the 5th set, the army side took a lead 7-6. Not to be outsmarted Police responded making it 7-7, and they regained the lead 8-7 as the two teams changed courts sides. A mistake in reception gift Police a 9-8 lead only for BDF VI to get back and make it 9-9. With the game heating up, Police managed after a long time to open up a 2 points gap, 12-10, which they later extended 3 points lead of 13-10. Moemedi Siphambe and Alec Engleton combined well with the legendary Tjiyapo Madeluka to extinguish hopes of BDF VI as they won the deciding set 15-11, winning the game 3-2.
Police coach Shimaka Ngwanaotsile though happy with the 3 points lamented the play displayed on the day, feeling their block and passing wasn’t what they have been working on during the week leading to the match day, hence felt they gifted BDF VI the 2 sets. His counterpart, sir Seeletso Mabutho felt they could have had a 2-0 lead but they let their spirits down in the 2nd set and failed to kill the game from there, players relaxing too much meant Police came back into the game and this made us work extra hard which tires the players.
Police VI captain, Happy Ribbin, could not contain his excitement as he can feel the championship is almost home, “we just need one set in the remain games, one set, I take it this is achievable, but we won’t be going into the next game (against Kalavango) relaxing, we’ll want to win the game, as the game will also be a part of preparing for Zone 6 games to be held in Namibia in December”.
Disang Golekanye, BDF VI captain, praised his team mates for pushing Police VI all the way, “we played like warriors but its volleyball, there can’t be a draw in this game, one must win, mistakes of 3 balls in the 5th set threw us off course, but we had the game and the spirit as you can see at one point it was 9-9, at that stage we never let our heads down”
With Police winning they positioned themselves well to be champions for this year’s edition, they have played 20 games and topping the log with 58 points, their arch rivals Kutlwano having played 18 games, have 48 points and will remain second as BDF VI (played 20 games) has more sets against and fails to leap frog them.
Weekend results: Police 3-2 BDF VI (20-25, 27-25, 25-20, 22-25, 15-11)
Itekeng 3-0 Prisons (25-22, 25-18, 25-23)
Diphatsa 3-0 Mag Stimela (31-29, 25-16, 25-22)
Mag Stimela 3-2 Tanian (25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-22)
Diphatsa 3-1 Kalavango (26-24, 19-25, 25-21, 25-22)