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GBL games round up for 10/08/2008

By on August 11, 2008 in League

University of Johannesburg vs. Tshwane University of Technology – GBL men

UJ came into this game on the back of their victory over Vaal University of Technology last weekend and they thought that it was a foregone conclusion. TUT have been the unknown quantity in the GBL this year and they were out to prove that their result over Tuks in their last game was no fluke. Put Neo Mothiba (TUT) in a room by himself and he can start a debate with any audience, add the UJ “Redeem team” plus their coach and you are in for an eventful afternoon of Basketball. The drama didn’t end there on Sunday, TUT had an added arsenal in their ranks by the name of Fumani Marhanele, this was DOUBLE TROUBLE; for UJ that is…In the early stages of the game, UJ and TUT were trading baskets but the game was slow and with three referees officiating you felt that controversy was around the corner. At half time, the game had a familiar look to it with UJ in the lead but TUT was not going away easily. In the 3rd quarter, TUT tried to make a run but they couldn’t make the deficit. Free throws were on the menu for most of this quarter and this was still in favour of UJ who were still in charge at this point. But TUT were not just relying on their SA players as they had a team that knew what its role was and with Fumani in the roster, they had another scoring threat to bother UJ.

Come 4th quarter and the stage was set for a dramatic ending because at the end of the 3rd quarter UJ were leading TUT by 13 pts and you thought that they had it in the bag… For the first time in the match, TUT came out blazing going on a 1 on 1 defence to rush their more illustrious opponents. UJ looked confused and the fact that their more favoured point guard Kgomotso (UJ 12) was sitting bench and Thabo a.k.a. Spiderman was running the point made it more interesting.

Neo (TUT 12) started heating up from way beyond the arc and Fumani, the new recruit, made sure that the score kept ticking. Midway through the fourth TUT had made inroads into the UJ lead and the difference was only three points. The fans kept shouting out “DEJAVU”, referring to the 2008 U.S.S.A’s. UJ went on the rampage but their static offence lead to them playing a 1 on 1 game instead of a team game, which they are known for. The scoreboard couldn’t handle it anymore so it called it a day, the crowd was going crazy and the Neo Mothiba vs. Thabo Letsebe contest didn’t show signs of abating.

In the last two minutes of the match both teams had equal chances to get the lead but blew them. It was all left to experience and the TUT young boys knew that they had to get the ball into Neo or Fumani’s hands. UJ were kept in the game by good shooting from Jeremiah (UJ 10) and the hustle on the boards by Angola (UJ 11). With a minute to go and UJ, leading by one point, the ball fell into the Makgotla (UJ 13) who didn’t see Neo who got the steal coming from on the blind side and made the pass to Kgopotso to make it 75-73 to TUT. Next possession with UJ point guard Kgomotso now back on the Court. The inexperience of the TUT players showed when they fouled Kgomotso on the edge of the three point line for two free-throws. Kgomotso missed the first one and made the second shot, score 75-74 TUT.

You could hear Neo screaming from the back court to tell the TUT players to play for time. Suddenly with 4 seconds left on the game and TUT up 1 point, Kgopotso decided to go for goal and made a jumper to put TUT up 3pts. Three seconds left, UJ ball. What do you do? Thabo Letsebe aka Spiderman got the ball just inside the opposition half; threw up a prayer and YES his prayers were answered. Overtime score was at 78-78.

Overtime and like a boxer in the 12th round, this part was about the last man standing when the bell rings. In the first 3 minutes, every basket was a fast break and both teams were fighting tooth and nails to get a foothold of this game. With 30 seconds left, TUT clinched the game. If you wanted entertainment, this was the game to watch; it had everything. Final score: UJ 87 – 88 TUT

Panthers (CUT) vs. University of Pretoria – GBL men

Like if they wanted to put a myth to rest, Tuks started very well with a 15 – 5 point lead in the opening minutes on the back of their forward Tebogo Mphafudi (Tuks 9) who was having a good game on both ends. If Tuks had started well, Panthers were tentative in their approach but they soon kicked into gear. As they say, it’s not about how you start but how you finish and Panthers were just too hot to handle for Tuks in the long run.

Coming from the Free State to play in Gauteng every weekend, Panthers took time to get into their groove and couldn’t contain Tuks in the early stages; but as soon as they figured out how to handle Tuks, they ran riot. Once again Vusi Sithole (Panthers 7) stole the show with monster dunks, monster blocks and some good defence but the rest of the team was just as good. As soon as the momentum started swinging in favour of Panthers, Tuks ran out of ideas and forgot how to play basketball. They were making elementary mistakes, making turnovers at every possession, missing lay-ups and being selfish. Going into the half Panthers were up by 10 points and now Tuks were the ones chasing the game. After the half time team talk, Panthers came out with some very good defence inducing Tuks into turnovers and capitalising.

As Tuks ran out of ideas on the basketball court, they started coming up with the wrong ideas in their heads with some of their players being involved in off the ball elbow swinging that was very unsportsmanlike and didn’t help their cause with the fans in the stands. Panthers were always in control of the game on the back of their defence and some atrocious basketball from the Tuks team that looked disjointed at every level. Tuks were struggling to contain Panthers in the post and were leaking buckets time and time again. To make matters worse, Tebogo (Tuks 9) got fouled out early in the 3rd quarter and Tuks couldn’t find a suitable replacement.

As if it is a recurring theme, the refereeing in this game left a lot to be desired and contributed to the unsavoury incidents in the game. In the 4th quarter, Panthers took the game beyond Tuks and blew them out with a brand of inside play from their good posts, and fast play from their guards. Top scorer was Adrian Kabuya ( Panthers-18 ) with 23 points. Final score: Panthers 96 – 66 Tuks

In other games…

Univeristy of Pretoria 2nd vs. Dragons – GBL men

In a game that would have been an interesting encounter in itself, the Tuks 2nd team came into the battle without enough soldiers, and in fact they just had their coach and one player. I guess the rest of the Tuks boys decided to celebrate women’s day on Sunday too. So Dragons won the game by default (i.e. forfeit). Final score: Tuks 2nd 0 – 20 Dragons

Raptors vs. Witwatersrand University – GBL ladies

Take a guess on the winner of this game? Raptors or Wits? After being undefeated the whole season in the league this year, that’s a question that should be easy to answer by now because Raptors are on a winning streak of note. They had another stroll on the court despite having missing some of their players. Wits are trying to build their girls’ program to competitive standards but they seem to be losing every other weekend so this was not the kind of game they were looking forward to. Raptors play every game like they have something to prove and they put the Wits ladies to the sword by defeating them by 20+ points. If they keep this momentum going, they are well on their way to making history in the girls’ game.

University of Pretoria 2nd vs. University of Johannesburg 1 – GBL ladies

This started off as a scrappy affair between the traditional rivals. UJ were on a mission to get the game out of the way as quickly as possible and with the likes of Ellen Moutlwse (UJ 10), Makgotso Moloantoa (UJ 7) and the rest of the UJ “Redeem team”, Tuks 2nd team was in for a tough morning.

As if they had given up before the end of the 1st quarter, the Tuks ladies were walking back on defence while UJ just kept punishing them for their mistakes with lay-ups after lay-ups. As if you had scripted it for her to entertain, Ellen was shaking and baking the Tuks guards at will and left most of them on the floor looking back; Thato Legodi suffering the most from her dizzying spells. But Thato wasn’t going to be left flat footed without putting up a fight of her own and she hit three 3 pointers to make the score respectable going into the half. After the half, UJ ladies cranked up their man to man defence and started running riot by starving Tuks of the ball. With Tuks post player Kelly Tswai in foul trouble, they were running out of options in that position with only experienced player left being Kobie van Jaarsveld who wasn’t getting the necessary service. In the end, UJ romped to victory by making a statement that they want to win the league. Final score: TUKS 2nd 34 – 74 UJ

Vaal University of Technology Alumni vs. Witwatersrand 2nd – GBL men

If you had to write a history book on basketball in SA over the past few years, I bet you would find most of the VUT alumni team in there with some kind of contribution to the game. With the likes of Flosh Ngwenya, Vusi Dlamini in their line ups, it was time to take out the books and take the kids to school. Wits 2nd team were in for a tough afternoon and hopefully they had brought pen and paper to go with it. They found it hard to get to the rim and whatever they tried, they couldn’t pull it off. VUT Alumni were probably saying to themselves during time-outs that they had seen it all before. At one stage it looked like the “Harlem Globetrotters” playing out there with the “no look”, “between-the-legs” and “the behind-the-back” passes the order of the day for the VUT alumni. They lacked the physical attributes of their counterparts but they made it up with their experience and walloped their younger opponents to kingdom come. Vusi Dlamini almost rolled back the years with a breakaway dunk but the lack of fitness kept him grounded so watch out whoever they are playing next has been warned. Final score: VUT Alumni 86 – 47 Wits 2nd

Done by Victor Shakineza with contributions from Nthabiseng Mushi, Michelle Kapena and Neo Mothiba

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  1. Tshepo Phamotse says:

    Its about time Panthers got the respect they deserve…..Kim….You’ve turned it around for us and I know that a lot of credit is owed to you…you came when the sport was nearly dying in the province and that alone ( besides the wins….) is a great accomplishment..thanks coach..too bad I cant play anymore.