Botswana: Basketball League in Limbo?

Gaborone — Botswana Basketball League (BBL) is racing against time to reach the June 8 league commencement deadline.

The league went on recess in December with crowning of the Phins Dolphins as the 2018 BBL champions following their exceptional 66-56 win against Police in game two of the playoff finals.

The past season was, however, marred by off-the court storms.

The association's office bearers where often at the receiving end for alleged office abuse and delay in releasing audited financial statements.

The off-the-court battles did not only impact on the basketball administration but was mostly felt by teams since the league could not attract a sponsor something which impacted on the sport.

Current deadlock within the association's office bearers also gave birth to a social league titled Gaborone Basketball League (GBL).

Though unregistered with the association, it had higher prize money than the BBL.

With five months already passed without any hope of the league resumption and the power tussle showing no sign of easing, it remains to be seen if the June 8 deadline would be met 2.

BBL hairperson, Peter Ubakar, was optimistic that the league committee would defy all odds and resume on the anticipated date.

He attributed the delay to teams' reluctance in submitting their compliance requirements and affiliations payments to the BBL and the BBA.

"Teams are expected to pay P500 subscription payments to both the league and the association in order for them to be accredited to participate in the upcoming season and newly formed teams are also expected to register with Registrar of Societies," he said.

He said the league received four applications from new teams with May 22 being the due date to have submitted all the required compliance documents.

Ubakar cautioned that all teams who fail to meet the deadline will not be included in the league fixtures and hence forfeit the opportunity to compete for the much acclaimed prize of League Champions and an opportunity to become the National Champions.

Furthermore, he indicated that the league was working round the clock and optimistic to secure a sponsor for the entire season unlike in the past season where a sponsorship was only availed for the top four play-offs.

With regard to remedy lack of suitable playing courts crisis, Ubakar noted that the league has already secured Tsholofelo courts and talks are at an advanced stage to secure Baisago and Botho University courts.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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