Do or die tie for pool masters

NTHAKO MAJORO

MASERU - Sunday promises to offer enough drama to wreck nerves and create memories that will last a while as Mabote Masters host Lifateng in a pool league contest in Khubetsoana. This is a top domestic pool encounter between two teams which used to be dominant in the top-flight league, Maseru First Division.Masters are the 2015/16 league champions while Lifateng were runners-up in the same season.

But last season, the 2016/17, Masters finished on fourth position while Lifateng appeared 10th. If their pole position on the league is anything to go by, chances are high that Masters could reclaim the title. The Khubetsoana based-side has collected 83 points from 26 matches and still has eight more left before the end of the season. Masters only lost twice this season, becoming the team to beat in the league. Their opponents, Lifateng, are on third position after collecting 71 points from 27 matches.

Lifateng trail Paramente with three points, the latter are on position two with 74 points from 27 games. “We are focusing on this game because we must win it at all costs,” said Lifateng captain, Tiny Ntšaba in an interview with Public Eye on Wednesday. Lifateng are just one-point clear of the fourth-placed, Ciscos, who have 70 points, and Ntšaba said that was another serious reason why they must defeat Masters.

“We are looking at the team in front of us and the one behind which are three-points ahead and one-point behind us respectively. So if we lose, the one in front will open a huge gap between us while the team behind us will occupy our current position,” Ntšaba showedIn one of the two matches which Masters lost this season was the 16-9 walloping at the hands of Lifateng in the first round.

That was their first loss in the 2017/18 term, before Pasco added the defeat with a narrow 13-12 victory last month. “We are preparing for this match and I have confidence that we are going to win. The fact that they (Lifateng) beat us before is the main reason why we have to defeat them now,” said Masters’ skipper, ’Matli Letsipa.

“There is no doubt it is going to be a difficult match but I think we can easily overcome them as we will also be enjoying the home advantage,” Letsipa added. Both Masters and Lifateng won their last Sunday matches. Lifateng beat Basotho Pool 20-5 while Masters bashed Paramente 14-11.

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