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The Giants of LOP Fall

By on July 7, 2008 in League

Article supplied by Tshepo Ditshego

The second half of the LOP season got off to an unlikely start after a long 1 and a half month break. One would think that after the Slam da Trash festival both Wits Alumni and Egoli Magic would have an upper hand going into the second half of the regular season. But that was not the case at all on Sunday.

The Pretoria Heat started the run of upsets after beating Wits Alumni 66-63 in a very intense match up. The Heat had Neo Mothiba fresh from a 19 hour trip from Cape Town where he was a manager for VUT. One would have thought that the last thing he would want to do was play ball after such a long trip. But the Heat saw blood and wanted to avenge their first round loss to Wits Alumni and probably couldn’t do it without the SA captain.

The Heat got off to a good start at tip off and scored 4 quick baskets catching Wits Alumni off guard on the fast breaks. Alumni eventually got their act together through Mboshe ronunu who started the game as shooting guard. Alumni trailed for the better part of the game through impressive performances from Joe Loo who couldn’t be stopped on the inside. He also got the crowd buzzing with a huge dunk on the fast break. Quintin Denyssen had an off day missing more open shots that you would expect him to. Kp Ndlovu also had a rough day in the office.

The Heat was carried by Neo Mothiba who ran point for the whole game. The majority of offense went through him either through driving and dishing inside or hitting jumpers on the Alumni guards. He also went to the free throw line a lot.

Alumni made a big come back in the fourth quarter through tough defense and excellent clock management and could have tied the game if luck was on their side. In the last play of the game, Alumni had the ball with 7 seconds left and they were down only 3 points. They managed to get the ball into the hands of Mboshe Ronunu who had an open three pointer but he missed the shot that could have taken the game into overtime.

The Heat deserved the victory and their campaign got off to a great start.

Wits Rebels also stunned Egoli Magic who lost 77-74. All the top teams have their work cut out for them if they want to make it to the playoffs. The league has now been thrown wide open.

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There Are 64 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Neo says:

    Im playing with the Magic. My team pulled out because of financial reasons

  2. Sifiso "Money" says:


    To anyone who wants to win, contact me to join your team….

  3. Neo says:

    I have just received the fixture for the week. Seems like teams are not interested in this tournament.

  4. Sifiso "Money" says:

    I wonder why? Could it because of the politics that come with it? But it is still on right?

  5. Interested says:


    It seems like its organised in the last minute and that’s why there is little interest. I heard about the Ashraf tournament from the comments on this website. How did they go about inviting teams? These things should be organised in advance so that the public can also plan to attend!

  6. Yani says:

    WOW…both games were fab!!! and if you weren’t there…you missed out BIG TIME!!!
    let’s see how egoli and alumni do in LOP this weekend, as well as, the rest of LOP…

  7. Yani says:

    my bad…Ashraf Lodewyk Memorial…this weekend…

  8. Baller says:


    yes i talk about going back to our roots to help develop basketball but at the same time the quetsion is who do you employ to do that..we all agree that the fundamentals are the best way to teach kids bball..without them this kids are doomed..

    and believe you me, winning doesn’t mean that you a good coach or a coach at junior level, the aim is to make sure that this kids are well equiped with fundamentals and are ready to compete at tertiary level..unfortunately we looking at wining and not developing the players for the future..

    do you really believe that a player who finished high last year can go and coach his peers and teach them the right fundamentals??i don’t and will never believe that..why did DSG appoint Neo??surely because they know that he’s been there and done that..then he will build their program.

    being able to jump, run, score a lay-up here and there and shoot once in a year then win doesn’e make you a good coach..our kids need to know the basics..i might love and k now basketball but it doesn’t mean i can teach others..

    lets be honest,our high schools contribute to killing this young kids cos when they go to tertiary they quit playing after they realise that they don’t have even the simplest of basics..

    we need to get the right coaches at development level Vic..

  9. victor says:

    Hey Baller,

    I know that winning isn’t everything but that also depends at what level you are coaching at.

    About players going back and coaching at their schools straight after matric, I am a big believer in that because they have to start somewhere. There are not enough experienced or qualified coaches around for every school and this is the best way to get these ex-pupils to remain involved in the sport in a constructive way. I started that way and through various experiences and game situations you learn year by year and improve your methods of teaching. I had the priviledge of having 3 amazing coaches while learning to play the game and I took all the positive elements I learned from them into my coaching career. And I added some of mine that I learned through other coaches, game experiences and even playing experiences.

    About Neo, he is also drawing from his playing experience and from the coaches he has had in the past and as far as coaching I am sure he is also still learning about the game like all of us so he is not the finished article.

    This can be a long debate, the same principle applies to when do you put a rookie in the 1st team or the starting 5? You are not always going to be able to rely on the old players and there comes a time when you have to blood these youngsters in the team so that they gain the right experience for the future. And along the way there are going to be challenges but you have to look at the long term picture and have faith that they will eventually come right.

    So until there is a proper program to develop the coaches, then I am all for ex pupil coming back and coaching at their former schools. That should also be done under supervision for the 1st year or so.


  10. Baller says:

    i will still differ with you on that Vic..the issue is that the same ex-pupils don’t have the necessary basics to coach the kids..that is where my problem is because you go to our junior national teams, believe you me you’ll be shocked cos these kids don’t know the basics..

    have seen our national teams play and boy what a disaster at junior level and simply because of the basics..had a priviledge of speaking to most of the junior coaches and all of them will tell you one thing..they have to teach players basics at national team camps..

    i believe you can’t compare Neo with the ex-pupils for a simple fact that he played at the highest level..he might be learning but i guarantee you that the players he coaches will know the basics..that is all we need in the country now..players learning correct basketball basics..dribbling, hustling, lay-ups, shooting, fakes etc..

  11. Interested says:

    Here is my 50c piece on your chat


    where do you start and when? I mean whats YOUR solution? if you look around there are not enough coaches qualified, thats a fact! You seem to put some good points about basics and all that but someone has to teach them. As long as these former pupils are willing to learn and passionate they can help move the process along. So instead of dancing around the matter, give us a solution that schools and universities can use!


    I tend to agree with you to some degree. I hope that the former pupils that go back to coach are good role models and are passionate about ball. Money should be an after thought!

  12. Baller says:


    to address your issues, our schools have to first look at players who are currently playing at tertiary level and competitively so..and then you move to twinning with the nearest universities for assistance with the nearby schools.

    you also have players playing for the national team who have much to offer and those guys who played at townships in the 80’s and 90’s..that is where we have to start.

    i mean currently, most of our tertiary coaches have that experience..imagine that a school in pta for example will gain from people at Tuks, joburg you have your Wits, UJ and doing that then we starting a process that would go a long way is addressing the coaching problem at high schools..

    in bball we need people with passion now not the one’s that are here for money..

  13. Joe says:

    My view on the solution is that we can either wait for BSA to come with a solution or we can implement one ourselves until BSA come up with one.

    To guide the process a meeting of coaches at Junior level will have to be convened in which coaches can debate this issue and come up with a working document which will say what is needed for one to be able to coach.

    This forum will then have to be recognised by the leagues and no school will be allowed to participate in the leagues until they have met the minimum requirements.

    Unfortunately though, I am sure that many coaches, schools, and leagues will shoot down this effort as it will be seen to be dictating who should they employ.

  14. Baller says:

    thanks Joe for the addition to solving the problem..we honesty need to move forward. waiting for BSA will not solve our problem cos we the people at the ground suffer a lot..