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USSA Gauteng qualifiers – 1/03/2009

By on March 2, 2009 in League

The University of Witwatersrand was a hive of activity this past weekend with various institutions trying to qualify for the USSA tournament. The USSA tournament will be on week of the 05 – 10 April 2009 and the Venue for the National Tournament is in Tshwane, at the University of Pretoria, Gauteng. The tournament is in April due to the World Student Games taking place in July 2009.

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the match between Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the hosts The University of the Witwatersrand (TUT), with the winner assured of a place in the Institution showpiece.

Before all that took place, there were a few games in the morning building up to the main event. In the 9 o clock games, The Wits ladies made easy work of a TUT team that looks really out of their depth. Here is an indepth look at the Wits ladies team: With a thin team of only nine players this year, one could think they’re destined for doom, but the USSA qualifiers are yet to tell the truth. Their first test was against UJ ladies last week thursday, and as always, a tough one too. Wits started off strong with one and two point lead battles with Uj in the first two quarters, but as the final quarters drew closer, it seemed they had given up a war worth fighting for. The final score was that of a 20 point lead by UJ.

Sunday morning came, and Wits looked refreshed and ready for their next trial against TUT. Most who hadn’t been following the game from the beginning thought there was an error with the score board as the score was 2-47, with TUT down. The final score was 10-83 and it was clear Wits had made up for their defeat during the week against UJ.  The Wits men also had an easy time against a Medunsa team that looks like they haven’t had time to prepare for the tournament.

At 11 o clock, the second round of games saw University of Johannesburg battle TUT in the men section. In a game that could have gone either way, it came down to the little decisions made by the players and coaches on either side. If TUT had enough belief on the day they would have given UJ a run for their money and even beaten them. They had inside and outside threat and UJ were struggling to contain the TUT power forward (TUT 14 – Gideon) and their guard Victor (TUT 9) who was doing lay up after lay up through out the game. Gideon was blocking shots, changing shots and collecting most if not all rebounds on both ends of the floor. In the end the experience of Thabang Glass (UJ 4) and Thabo Letsebe (UJ 15) enable UJ to capitalize on the mistakes made by their opponents and the final score was UJ 74 – 65 TUT. In the ladies section, Vaal University of Technology (VUT) dismantled Medunsa with a final score of 90 – 12, but the sad thing is that even tough the game was never in danger of being lost, VUT played a full court press against a team of girls from the medical campus that were already demoralized from an already daunting half time score.

The 3 o clock show was the decisive clash between Wits University and TUT. This was the Wayne (Wits) vs. Gideon (TUT) show. Wits started stronger and took an early 10 point lead on the back of beautiful team play; but the cuts by their forward Wayne, who had a mismatch all game where the highlight of the opening stanza. But then TUT found some belief and started reeling in their opponents to close the gap to 6 points at half time. Wits couldn’t stop TUT big man Gideon and Eric with Gideon especially causing them trouble all game long… (Score: 39 – 32). Despite this TUT were still playing an individual game as opposed to Wits team play but despite these flaws, TUT were giving as good as they got from the Wits players. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the score was 61 – 57 to Wits with the quarter characterized by a 3 point happy TUT team. As the saying goes “you live by the 3 point and you die by the 3 point” and in the 4th quarter, TUT struggled to find their range from 3 point range so they had to rely on the industrious work of their forwards (TUT 12, Eric and Gideon) and the threat of Victor their good shooting guard (TUT 9) who has a consistent game every time. With 10 seconds left in the 4th quarter it was anyone’s game with the score tied at 73 all and TUT had plenty of opportunity to win the game with 2 missed free throws and a wasted possession that ended with a drive and supposed foul that wasn’t called on a Wits player against Gideon. Wits regained their composure in overtime to close the game out 78 – 75. In the ladies game, UJ used the game against Medunsa to work on a few things and ended up with an easy victory. They were not running any fast breaks against their weak opponents and were looking for a good shot or a percentage play. The UJ ladies were red hot from the 3 point line with Gabsile and Kgaugelo the main suspects. The UJ team like most teams this year had to do without their national team players so there was space for some new faces in the team but it was business as usual for coach Mandla and his assistant Molupe.

At 17h00 o clock, UJ men made a mockery of their game against Medunsa and in the end it looked like an exhibition game with unnecessary passing, slacking defense and ill advised shooting from their players. With a roster like theirs, you would expect UJ men to respect any opponent they face at any level. They were overwhelming victors in this game. In the ladies section, VUT made easy work of TUT who have been the whipping team of this season’s qualifiers.

Small mention of the University of Pretoria (TUKS) who have already qualified, the ladies played Central University of Technology (CUT) and defeated them by 17 points but it was hard work all the way. The men’s team were scheduled to play VUT but the latter wasn’t informed in due time so the game didn’t take place.

Article by Victor Shakineza with an insert on the Wits Ladies team by Thato

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There Are 12 Brilliant Comments

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  1. baller says:


    for once i think you left the referee’s poor officiating in the last 30 seconds of the game. 1st, they didn’t call an obvious goal tending by Wits which would have given TUT a 2-point lead. 2ndly, called an out of bounds on a TUT player who was almost a metre inside the court. 3rdly, the foul in the last second of the normal game when they didn’t call a foul on a Wits player which a TUT player making a lay-up, which would have won the game for TUT in that last second. 4th in overtime when they decided to call an uninformed unsportsman like foul on TUT to give Wits free throws and possession when Wits was up by one. 5th, they didn’t call the last foul on Wits when a TUT player got fouled making a lay-up in the last second which might have been a three point play for TUT and gave them a chance to tie the game.

    i was in the stands and personally i thought the refs have issues with TUT or they just love Wits. if what happened in the game between TUT and Wits is anything to go by, then i will have a second thought in buying a season ticket for GBL games. had TUT won the game, that would have ensured that they attend the USSA tournament. its unfortunate how referees decide the fate of teams because of their inconsistencies.

    i hope the powers that be take charge and look at the referees peformance. honestly, some of this refs are not good enough to be officiating in crucial games like that. hopefully there is a review committee as these guys are getting paid for each game they officiate.

    viva referees viva.

  2. Victor says:

    Hey Baller,

    I didn’t even want to go there on this article because I think that it is going to be the topic for the whole year. I am busy preparing an article on the referee on its own. But I totally agree with all your points.


  3. kim says:

    I do think that some of the referring was terrible as you indicate and alot of work needs to be done.I think that BSA must enter now and make sure that we do have clinics for our refs…not only in the GBL but countrywide.What concerns me is that I keep seeing the same refs and no development.Was happy to see Sibo coaching the Tuks team(not that I dont want Nicky).I think if we get more ladies that have played the game we will half-way in ensuring that we really develop womens basketball

    TUT(life after Neo)…they have proved that they are a legit team and teams are going to have work hard against GIDEON,that guy is a monster and hopefully he can play more during some critical times during the games.One thing for sure is that there is alot talent that I have seen this year compared to last year and this goes well with the improvement of the game.

    UJ,UJ,UJ………seeing that they were my favourites for the league from last year GBL teams….they dissapointed me.Having travelled early to ensure that I got to watch their game,I was not impressed with the TOOOO muh showmanship that they kept on doing.TUT ensured that they kept themselves in the game with UJ doing soo many globetrotters basketball.I think they are better than that and I am sure that they know it and hope they can play that basketball I have enjoyed from them…..I am their opponent so I guess there is no need for them to please me(LOL)

    It was nice to see the National basketball leadership coming to the games,this I feel gives an opportunity for basketballl lovers to interact with them with any issues that they might have on their mind.


  4. Peaches says:

    Im a player and last yr I enquired about the process of becoming a ref, I seriously considered it and found that its not just blowing the whistle and knowing the rules, but its the time taken up by refin high school games for experience during the week, its travellin to games, n often arriving home after 8pm. Iv personally experienced a month in the life of a ref and it is hectic.

  5. Peaches says:

    Im a player and last yr I enquired about the process of becoming a ref, I seriously considered it and found that its not just blowing the whistle and knowing the rules, but its the time taken up by refin high school games for experience during the week, its travellin to games, n often arriving home after 8pm. Iv personally experienced a month in the life of a ref and it is hectic.

    Viva table officials viva

  6. baller says:


    i agree that its not as terrible but what happened in the last 30 seconds leave much to the imagination of me as a spectator. i imagine how you would have felt as a coach if that happened to your team. we all know that in a game like that you can’t make such school boy mistakes in the stretch. the game was great especially in the last quarter. TUT looks like its here to compete. maybe they should get a point guard who can control the game better.

    UJ, a disappointment. aren’t they fighting with the coach? haha. just kidding.


    i agree with you that its hectic being a ref. now imagine how hectic it gets for a player or coach? the refs need to keep themselves fit so as to avoid mistakes like that. most of them are too tired after officiating one game and their concerntration goes awol when it matters most. we need more refs as Kim indicated. its been same faces year in year out. a change would be much better.

    with the table officials i do not have a major problem. the only thing is clock management especially in the last 2 minutes of the game. i saw this happen on sunday where time was running in the last 2 minutes of the game even after a basket.

    viva new blood viva.

  7. Tifo says:

    i agree with al that u guys are saying with respect to improvements on our refs part. Though i think teams should set themselves up for a situation where their game can not be decided on a 30s play especialy since we dont even have short clocks yet here in SA(atleat most of the venues). Your game cant be decided by a 30sec loss of concentration by a ref, because we all know that is inevitable,be it there are short clocks, replays whatever. Win your game in the 39minutes and 30sec so the last 30sec dont matter. Every ball player knows that, when they go play there is a reff factor to account for. Wits for one had a simmilar experience in the SASSUS 2007 semi finals against UJ, but they took it like men and this year they are better.When a team looses its normal for them to feel like if only they had an extra minute and what no,but fact of the matter is u lost irrespectively. So hey, reffs make bad calls, but they do make good calls too and they only human thus prone to errors. What im trying to say is as much as we can improove reffs, lets let the ballers have their last option as the fact that if they loose a game in the last 30s, they didnt set themselves up for a win.Dont pin it on tha reff.

  8. baller says:


    i will agree and disagree with you. as a team, when the final whistle blows you accept your loss or win. yes, they are human and make mistakes but then how many mistakes can you make in 30secs. in a game, there are two teams that equally want to win. all teams want to win in the first half by 80 points and which sometimes is impossible. you don’t want to have a situation where when games are going to the wire the ref decide the fate of the winner and loser.

    take a good look at the GBL men premier. i guarantee you that most games are gonna be decided in the last 2 minutes. do we want refs to decide the fate of the teams? not at all. as much as they are human, they should up their game the same way the players are doing everytime hence we start to enjoy good basketball games. what makes me more angry is that these guys are getting paid to officiate like that.

    how many times have we seen them strike and games didn’t play because they are not paid? how many times should we tolerate their mistakes at the expense of good sportsmanship? how many times should we take the back seat to referees that don’t come to games on time? how many times should we tolerate unprofessionalism from the refs? remember what the ref did last year at LOP giving a team 3 free throws with a foul that happened on the half-way line claiming the guy was shootong when he was infact still bouncing. guess what, the score was level and the team went on to win. now we must accept that they are human and do mistakes like that?

    i am supposed to pay for watching games from this sunday which am happy about. am i going to pay and the refs spoil my day at the games? its high time we let them know that we are enough. they too should work on their fitness and respect the game as much as we respect them and the game.

    viva bball viva

  9. Neo says:

    Some1 told me that most players train to play in the first five while other train to play in the last two minutes cos only then can you say you have the gamein the bag or not.

    Not all games will be blowouts hence everyone needs to prepare accordingly, that includes the refs. Im afraid toplay in this league because your destiny is not in your hands rather in the hands of the officials.

    We gonna see more fighting than playing if this continues, teams play hard.

  10. kim says:

    I think I have to agree with you…You can be only good as the refs allow you to be.Last year I was in a 1 point game against WITS and VUT Alumni.Both games were a nightmare for me and it means that my team has to play harder to get 3point wins.

    With the teams in GBL,there will be over 10 games that are decided by less 5 points.As much as we say players and coaches need to work hard ,I think refs will be a telling factor too.

  11. B-mac says:

    Big ups to my main man mapoompoo ( gideon ) he is an animal and dis season he goin to demolish them cats down low. i wish u were at tuks my man , so i can huk u up wit them alley hoops. Eh them refs . Need to blow more of them whistles . Just blow damnit. Anyway , gud job vic.

  12. kholo says:

    Quote of the day

    “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
    by Michael Jordan