South Africa's basketball community

GBL 2009 looking at the season ahead

By on February 28, 2009 in League

With the new Gauteng Basketball season scheduled to start this weekend of the 8th of March 2009, a lot of talk is doing the rounds on the basketball island; so definitely I’m keeping both eyes and ears on the streets for all you basketball junkies. Mybasketball caught up with some of the ballers who will be featured in the premier section and what was said was very interesting to say the least…

There will be a lot of changes in some of the teams especially since some of the dipper dandies are hitting the big time and playing for the Varsities; specifically in the ladies section; making both the league and USSA interesting. Legendary teams like Tuks (The University of Pretoria) losing the USSA M.V.P Requelh Molema to The Vaal University of Technology will cause a little upset to the team, but we all know Tuks will find a way to pick themselves up regardless. They also lost Poopsie to UJ (The University of Johannesburg) a few years back and despite that the team was crowned the 2008 USSA champions; so who knows what this loss will do for the team.

But unlike Tuks who lost a player or two, Vaal and UJ added to their rosters. UJ recruited Gabsile Ndlangamandla from Soweto Raptors, while the new face to The Senior National Squad, Matlala Mokoko, joined the Vaal fraternity and joining her is Sibongile who played for the Zimbabwean team ‘Jewels’ in the Women’s Tournament last December. It will be interesting to see who Emma Ledwaba and Phumla Sathula play for but it is rumoured that they will also join the ranks of VUT for the GBL season and if the “Hamilton Lady” will participate in The USSA Championships at The University of Pretoria in April this year. Raptors are expected to give some of the more seasoned teams a run for their money under the tutelage of Nthato so they won’t be easy to beat. Scorpions have added to their roster and have started preparing for the season early so expect a tough battle, they would have learned from their defeat in the final last year at the hands of Raptors so watch out. Wits ladies in 2009 are a new unit so it will be interesting to see how they fare in their first game and whether they can last the distance of a grueling season. Bees and Monash are the Cinderella teams as not much information is available about them but if teams underestimate them, they are in for a major surprise.

On the men’s side not much has been done, it is rumoured that there have been trades between the Egoli Magic and Wits Alumni. This year Egoli Magics also says goodbye to the all round “veteran” as well as Thabang Banda and Luyanda who join the ranks of VUT along with Christian Moletshe from KZN. Wits Rebels come into the league with a new name, Braamfontein Blues but their roster will remain the same. UJ are once again a closed book but expect some new faces in the form of High School recruits with the core of the team remaining the same. Wits play with a good system and their GBL team might give some of the competition food for thoughts. CUT will be doing the trek from Bloemfontein again this year and their coach Kim has also been recruiting so they are going to be given teams a hard time. Pretoria Heat has also strengthened their team by taking 3 players from Tuks; Tuks is also saying goodbye to some of their Alumni players to a new team that will be playing in Division 1 of the league… “They will be sadly missed…” TUT will have to do without the services of Neo Mothiba and Fhumani Marhanele and they might go out there to show the public that they are good enough to succeed without these 2 national players.

The 8th of March 2009 will mark the beginning of a new basketball era where we relive the days where Premier Basketball League was still around, where the likes of Cabby Magongwa shed a tear after losing a game during the days of the Campus Basketball League and the crowds came to venues in droves.

The long awaited GBL league is just around the corner. Who will be crowned the champions? Will Wits Alumni and University of Johannesburg be the main contenders for the men and Raptors and UJ for the ladies or will the ‘new age’ out shine the ‘outopies’, is there a Cinderella team in our midst? We’ll just have to wait and see and have a little faith in the eyes and ears of the streets… (For more information please visit:

Article by Nthabiseng Mushi and edited by Victor Shakineza

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