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Gauteng Women’s tournament Day 2 – 02/12/2008

By on December 4, 2008 in FanZone

Gauteng hosted another Women’s tournament that had some interesting clashes lined up for the few people that made the trip to the Orlando Community Hall in Orlando. After a lengthy interval between the junior and senior games, that saw some of the spectators take to the court; the games were about to resume with an interesting clash between Tuks and the Jewels from Zimbabwe who were the defending champions. In the 2nd game we had Vaal University of Technology against University of Johannesburg with VUT going out there and recruiting to make their team stronger with the acquisition of Emma Ledwaba and Phumla. The way the tournament is set up is that the juniors play in the morning while the senior games are in the afternoon to accommodate the working folks… By the way there was a lot of last minute cancellation in the senior pools so it ended up with 4 teams playing round robin with the winner taking the R30000 on offer. At junior level there were plenty of teams but the defending champions from Tshwane were out to collect the grand prize of R15000.

Tuks vs Zimbabwe Jewels

Zimbabwe Jewels, the defending champions, arrived in Gauteng late and missed out on their first game against VUT ladies so they had some catching up to do if they were going to go home with some extra cash…

The game began with 2 free throws from the team from across the border but Tuks were moving the ball well so we were in for an interesting game from the onset. Tuks were faster with a better front court than the Jewels but they had their own weapons with last year MVP coming back to make sure that they dominated the post. But their biggest handicap was that they looked like they didn’t have their usual coach with them, maybe the team have also been affected by the problems in Zimbabwe.

Tuks 11(Bulelwa Zondi) was having a good game early on making 3 out of 4 FG to keep Tuks within touching distance. But due to their dominance in the post, Tuks were struggling to keep the shackles on the huge post players from Zimbabwe, so they found themselves in foul trouble early and the coach had to make adjustments because the games are stop start. Nicki de Villiers was in foul trouble early and she had to restrain herself on defence. Tuks had a 10 point lead at some stage but the Jewels rallied after going to their strong point inside in the 2nd quarter.

Tuks had a bit of a dilemma, they were fronting in the post but as soon as they forgot they were punished for it by an easy inside basket or by conceding a foul that was usually followed by accurate free throw shooting from Jewels post players (Jewels 14 and Jewels 17). Jewels 14 took her FT like if she was doing lay-up, she didn’t miss any throughout the game and you don’t usually get that from a post player.  Half time score was 23 – 35 to Zim Jewels and many might have thrown in the towel but Tuks are made of sterner steel.

In the 2nd quarter Tuks lost their inspirational point guard to an ankle injury but that seemed to spur the rest of their players on with everyone putting in the extra shift. They had their best game in the 3rd quarter with the offense complimenting the defence. They switched their defence from a zone to a man on man to make it difficult for the guards to dump the ball down to the posts and this strategy worked. Their uptempo defence caused plenty of turnovers. They totally outscored through a number of fastbreak points from their star player Tuks 10 (Takalani Mfamadi), but the highlight was the belief the team had by diligently playing great defence and playing for each other. By the end of the 3rd quarter the score was 43 – 44 to the jewels.

In the last quarter, the Jewels came out fighting with a series of unanswered baskets. Despite having numerous opportunities to take the lead, Tuks were making unnecessary turnovers that were being punished by their opponents. Maybe it was the nerves but both teams were not settled and were rushing their play. The game turned when Tuks made 4 successive turnovers that were turned into 8 points by the Jewels who showed greater execution down the line. Tuks came to the party late and by the time they realised that they could actually win they were hampered by the fouls picked up early in the game. In the end their bench looked like a hospital ward and they couldn’t catch up. Final score: Tuks 53 – 59 Zim. Jewels

This was Tuks second loss after losing to UJ by 4 points the day before.

Article by Victor Shakineza

University of Johannesburg vs. Vaal University of Technology

VUT came into the game with their eyes firmly focused on the prize at hand. They added to their playing personal but also to their coaching ranks by bringing in Flosh Ngwenya, the VUT men’s head coach, to help Zet Ngwenya plan the downfall of their long time rivals UJ.

VUT began in an aggressive mood with the inside presence of Emma felt from the first whistle.  UJ went into 3 point mode early on and they were falling at that stage with UJ13 sinking some early shots from beyond the arc.

With UJ unable to match VUT inside they went for the outside game with most of their play ending up with the guards and their post Nozipho Njokweni seeing little of the action early on. But her battle with Emma Ledwaba in the post was interesting throughout the game. After adjusting their defense, VUT starved UJ of scoring opportunity and forced them into taking uncomfortable shots that were not converted. 1st Quarter score 14 – 11 to VUT.

UJ started the 2nd quarter better than they had finished the 1st and they made a run of sorts by closing out the lead and stepping up their defence. Despite making a good run, UJ were making plenty of fouls and relying on their shooting game to pull them closer. The game was tight throughout the quarter and Phumla was beginning to find her feet in the game by getting involved in everything on both end of the floor. They say you can’t buy experience and the 2 recruits that VUT had were the difference between the 2 teams. The 2 opposing coaches were as vocal as ever and as usual the referees threatened to be the highlight of the show with some interesting calls. At half time, UJ had a 2 point lead. HT score: 22 – 24 to UJ

Half time was what VUT needed to regain their focus and they started the brighter of the 2 sides with some enterprising play from their guards. VUT 7 was showing plenty of experience by driving the ball inside and getting some good baskets. The biggest problem UJ had was how to best deal with Emma who was attracting 3 to 4 defenders every time and she was getting hacked a lot. UJ first basket of the 3rd quarter came in the form of a 3 pointer but Vaal were playing smarter and their efforts were rewarded by building up a 10 point lead by the end of the 3rd quarter. 3rd quarter score: 43 – 33 to VUT

Things got really heated in the fourth quarter with the VUT coach getting a technical after a disagreement with the referees who had just called a foul on the wrong player. Despite all the drama going on in the game, VUT didn’t lose their focus and kept stretching their lead over UJ. Even when UJ looked like they were making a run, VUT found an answer in Phumla (VUT 6) who would drive to the basket, get fouled and still make the basket. It was enthralling stuff from both team and the spectators were getting full value for their attendance. With VUT maintaining a lead throughout the quarter, they went into stall mode with a few minutes left in the quarter which prompted UJ to foul and take the VUT girls to the free throw line. With UJ playing a man on man defense, Emma showed all her experience by dribbling the ball around a few of the UJ girls that couldn’t seem to dispossess her. This was a deserved victory for VUT who scrapped for every ball and make crucial baskets down the line. UJ’s lack of inside presence was evident and their guards couldn’t keep up their hot shooting through the game. FT score: UJ 45 – 56 VUT

Other results from the tournament:

Article by Khensani Msimanga edited by Victor Shakineza

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  1. Ntokozo Khumalo says:

    I am a big fan of the game of basketball but i have been lacking exposure due to some economic problems we have been facing in Zim. I actually would like to cogratulate my Jewels counterparts for their efforts in the club championship games they played last year. I am also pleased that women are taking the sport to higher levels.