- Wells International and BDF Ladies grab gold medals and P20,000 apiece
- The absence of Police IX made a difference all round in the men’s section
Wells International Men and BDF IX Ladies were crowned Champions of this year’s Selibe-Phikwe Softball Extravaganza following their exceptional performance over the weekend in Selibe-Phikwe.
Wells International became champions after several attempts in previous years where they were eliminated in the finals for two consecutive years by close rivals BDF and Police.
This time they dominated the men’s section in Group A where they won all of their games against Vikings, Rebels and Comets to book a final match with BDF IX.
Winning “only option” for Wells
Group B was contested by Rail Giants, BDF, Panthers and UB Giants where BDF was dominant.
En route to the finals, Wells beat Comets 14-1 before they eliminated Rebels in a closely contested match that ended 4-3 in favour of Wells. They went on to beat BDF 3-2 in the finals to emerge the 2023 Champions.
In a post-match interview with Gazette Sports, Wells captain Thabo Dlodlo said winning the title this year was the only option after they lost in the finals last year to Police IX, who were disqualified this year.
“This was the toughest final I have ever played in in a long time, said Dlodlo.
“BDF gave us tough competition because they also wanted the title. We had to keep reminding ourselves that we have to win, more so that the team that always gives us a hard time was not present and the boys came to the party.”
Consistent and focused
“We were all consistent in our positions and we were focused. There was no room for any mistake. We stuck to the game plan and had to show our intentions in the group stages where we won all of our games. We are happy that we finally won the title this year.”
For his part, BDF IX senior player, Matthews Dibeela, said they regret the missed chances that could have won them the match in the first few innings where they lost focus and gave their opponents a chance to take the lead.
“We came into the game wary of the threat that Wells posed, they having been the runners-up last year,” he said. “We started well but lost touch along the way, which we all regret as a team and is a lesson for us.
Years of drought
“The competition was not that tight because of the absence of Police IX which we felt, hence we had an easy ride in the group stages.”
Meanwhile, BDF Ladies stripped Titans of their title after winning 5-0 in the finals. It was BDF’s title victory after many years of drought in the army girls’ trophy cabinet. Titans settled for silver after failing to defend their cup in tightly-contested final.
Wells International and BDF Ladies walked away with gold medals and P20,000 each while BDF men and Titans men settled for silver medals and P15,000 each. Vikings men and Vikings women won bronze medals and P12,000 apiece.