Gaborone — Underdogs basketball team are this year's 3x3 victors after beating defending champions, Lakers 19-10 in the final game on November 29.
For the Underdogs, comprising youthful Lone Busang, Yaone Badisang, Lame Diboko and Theo Dipholo was a mission accomplished following their preparation and two days as well as excruciating six games to reach the finals and ultimately become champions.
Despite the fast, furious and physical performance, the Underdogs were undoubtedly determined to lift the silverware as they continued to display flawless play throughout the tournament.
They swooped into the finals after winning five of the six games and a loss against Lakers in regular play, which they requited in the grand finale.
In the encounter between the two, Lakers seemed to control the game early into play, but were stopped on their tracks when the Underdogs' Busang swept in with four big two-pointers, firing his side into contention, after which Tefo Dipholo added one to tie it up at eight all.
Fatigue became Lakers' worst enemy as they faded in the last minutes and failed to convert lay-ups with Karim Shebu and Nnaemeka Eze missing at close range.
Similarly, well timed team rotations played to the advantage of the Underdogs as they brought in Dipholo for Badisang with two minutes remaining.
The fresh Dipholo hit the last jump shot that proved to be the dagger as the clock ticked, cementing the Underdogs' victory and sending their fans into euphoria.
Meanwhile, on the women's side, GC Sparks were crowned champions after finishing all their games undefeated.
As such, both the Underdogs and Sparks have booked their seat in the national finals to be played at a later date.
In an interview, the tournament organiser, Shalosh Matsetse was happy with the turn up of participating teams.
"It is pleasing to note that 18 men teams registered for the tournament.
However, we were not happy with the number of women's teams as their representation is low with only three teams registered," he said.
Explaining the purpose of the tournament, Matsetse said they were forced to have players maintain their fitness levels because bragging rights were at stake.
He further indicated that they had to ensure that COVID-19 protocols were observed, something he said gave them hope for the return of basketball in not so far a future.