Liquid open set for grand final

Baitshepi Sekgweng

Can Powerfolo stop the cops?

After six weeks of high-flying action, with 11 ladies team taking to the courts dreaming of glory, the Liquid Open Volleyball Championships climaxes this weekend with a grand final between Police VI and Mafolofolo.

P10, 000 awaits the winner of Saturday’s clash, which plays out at the Molepolole Institute of Health Sciences Indoor Hall.

The losers, meanwhile, will take home a cool P8, 000 to douse their disappointment.

Having beaten Mafolofolo comfortably twice already this year, dropping just a single set, the cops go into the final as overwhelming favourites.

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Protecting a 100 percent record, perfect Police are looking to finish what has been an excellent campaign in style.

They will be wary of overconfidence, however, having found themselves in a similar position back in April when they lost the ‘Return to Play’ final against Kutlwano after going through the competition unbeaten.

‘Ditaugadi’ will be desperate to make amends as they look to establish themselves as the sport’s new powerhouse.

Speaking to Voice Sport this week, Police Coach, Shimaka Ngwanaotsile, said his girls were fired-up to go all the way.

“It is not by mistake that we reached the finals. It is about hard work, good preparations and commitment. Our plan is not to think much about Mafolofolo history in volleyball. We have played them already and we know their strengths. We are working on the mistakes we committed in the previous match against them,” said Ngwanaotsile, whose team eased passed Saturday’s opponents 3-1 when they met in the group stages.

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Set-up in 2018, Police have quickly positioned themselves as a force to reckon with in local volleyball, putting together a formidable squad that includes former BDF VI quartet: Patricia Themba, Cynthia Nfana, Lerato Chizake and Lebani Ntelecha.

All four have been with Police from the very start, with the trio of Tshiamo Chakalisa, Merapelo Tshimologo and Pearl Kaizer joining from Kutlwano this year.

“Of course the team is becoming dominant but I cannot say it’s becoming a powerhouse because this is only our second tournament this year and there was no league. If the league was there and we had attained first position, I would say we are almost there, to become a powerhouse!” concluded Ngwanaotsile.

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Hungry to recapture former glories, Mafolofolo have found the going tough in recent years, a fall from grace amplified by a fifth place finish in the ‘Return to Play’ tournament.

Under the astute guidance of Boitumelo Botsang, ‘Powerfolo’ have looked much more like their former, powerful selves in the Liquid comp.

“I am happy to be playing the final of this tournament, more especially looking at the short time we had to prepare and we came as underdogs to the competition. Our aim is to give our fans and supporters a very nice final over the weekend,” was Botsang’s brief assessment in a short interview told Voice Sport.

Police will be looking to make it a double celebration as the men’s team take on Kutlwano in the other final.

In the 3rd place playoffs, BDF VI will play Mag-Stimela in men’s division while in the ladies section it will be Kutlwano and BDF VI fighting for the P7, 000 bronze.

The cup competition was sponsored by Liquid Intelligent Technologies to the tune of P200, 000.

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