Desert Jewels Need a Lot of Polishing

It never rain but pours for the luckless Namibian senior netball team, the Desert Jewels.

Day three of the African World Cup qualifiers underway in Gaborone, Botswana, saw the out of sorts Namibian outfit suffer their third successive defeat – going down to an embarrassing 44- 57 loss against regional lightweights Zambia.

Following their defeat in their opening two matches, Namibia was left with the enviable task of beating Zambia if they were to entertain any hopes of claiming a qualification berth for the global showpiece. This was not to be as yesterday’s defeat against Zambia all but signaled the end of Namibia’s further interest in the regional tourney.

Namibia went down by 36 baskets to 48 against hosts Botswana in their second match of the African World Cup qualifiers.

Despite the presence of highly rated goal shooter, Toetsie Kambatuku, the Desert Jewels could not get out of gear, losing their opening match against Swaziland 37-58.

With pride at stake, Namibia will be obliged to manufacture decent results in their final two matches against regional minnows Zimbabwe and Uganda if they are to avoid the wooden spoon before completing their assignment in the weeklong competition.

The top two finishers will earn qualification to the 2015 World Cup in Sydney, Australia.

In the meantime, Namibia is still within a mathematical shot to finish their disastrous campaign in the middle of the final log standings upon completion of the tournament.

Both Africa’s leading netball playing nations, South Africa and Malawi, have already earned automatic qualification and will go into the pot when the draw is conducted pitting the best of Africa against global heavyweights New Zealand, England, Fiji, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia.

Namibia finished in a respectable overall 14th place during their appearance at the global showpiece in Birmingham, England in 1995.

However, the inevitable exodus of the bulk of that squad due to retirement and other commitments coupled with internal squabbling plagued what was once hailed as one of Africa’s finest netball playing nations into self-inflicted obscurity.

Source : New Era