NCS topping the log, newbies Fly Ballers struggling

• By Michael Uugwanga

DEFENDING champions of the MTC Namibian Netball Premier League, the Namibian Correctional Services (NCS) have once again demonstrated that they are still the team to beat after claiming two victories over the past weekends in the opening matches of the 2022 league season at Patrick Iyambo College netball courts in Olympia, Windhoek.

NCS defeated Young Stars 66-24 on March 5 following that with another win after a convincing 71-29 against Northern Fly Ballers the next day.

In other matches played on March 5, Eleven Arrows defeated Grootfontein 37-32, Afrocat Lions beat Rebels 39-32, Tigers outclassed Northern Fly Ballers 62-26 and Mighty Gunners smashed Blue Waters 71-19, while Namibian Navy narrowly lost 44-48 to Otjiwarongo NamPol.

On March 6, Tigers beat Young Stars 66-19, Afrocat Lions beat Grootfontein 51-26, Mighty Gunners beat Namibian Navy 54-47 and Otjiwarongo NamPol beat Blue Waters 48-32. Eleven Arrows lost 47-33 to Rebels.

The next MTC NNPL will only take place on March 26 at Ogongo Agriculture College in the North, which gives teams additional time to prepare well, in particular newly promoted sides such as Young Stars, Northern Fly Ballers and Blue Waters who are part of the five teams that got promoted to the top flight netball league this season.

The other promoted sides are Afrocat Lions and Otjiwarongo NamPol.

Coach of NCS, Manuel ‘Mansie’ Tjivera said despite his team topping the log on goal difference ahead of Tigers, Mighty Gunners, Afrocat Lions and Otjiwarongo NamPol who also collected two wins, they could do better.

“Result was good but performances can be better. For the next two weeks we will just work more in order for the players to perform better than what they did in the last two matches,” he said.

Grootfontein netball club coach, Charmaine Louw said that her team struggled over the past weekend due to long trips.

“Look the players have been struggling with fatigue due to travelling as we did not want to come sleep in Windhoek a day before due to lack of resources. Now that we have a two-week break we will be working harder in training,” she said.

Afrocat Lions coach, Dimitri Bittler said that the aim for his team this season is to be in the top three come end of the season and if possible to win the league title.

“The reason why we got away with those two wins is because of the high level of competitiveness in the Khomas Region Netball League last season as it really helped us. We are targeting a top three finish even though our philosophy of winning the title has not changed.”

Blue Waters coach Juanita Witbeen said that her team’s struggle was due to lack of confidence.

“We got exposed because this is the first time that we are playing at this level. The players let their emotions expose them because they were playing against well-known top clubs and therefore they lost focus. We just have to go back to the drawing board,” she said.

Coach of Northern Fly Ballers, Jane Toivo said she is still struggling to assemble a team that can train together on a daily basis due to long distances.

“I am currently based in Windhoek but the team is based in the North. Most of our players are schoolgoing pupils. The players are not based in one place. But we will try to train harder and make sure that we perform better in the next few games,” said Toivo.