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GBL… The big upset

By on July 30, 2009 in League

The Gauteng Basketball League is running on a relegation system and teams in the premier league are fighting for a spot in the playoffs. Egoli Magic is leading the pack; having played eight games with no losses and by the looks of things; they’re going to remain unbeaten for the 2009 GBL season.

This past Saturday Wits Alumni thought they didn’t need to bring their whole team to the game against Tuks; who are currently standing at seventh position on the log. Little did they know that The University of Pretoria is just as hungry as their soccer team and don’t want to get relegated. They came out fighting this past weekend.

After a short interview with Wits Alumni Captain Tshepo Ditshego last Sunday; some heavy comments were made, “The only way to move up is by playing and beating weak teams” this being said after winning against Pretoria Heat. Well, that didn’t really play out as planned… A five player’s team was not going to beat the student team from Pretoria, though the “bench playing” Alumni team gave Tuks a good run; Mfundo and Tshepo weren’t enough ammunition to beat the boys on their home turf. A 88-83 victory by Tuks; the first upset of the weekend.The second “upset” was straight after Alumni’s loss, when the talented UJ ladies team encountered their second battle against the ladies Tuks team.  With player coach, Nicki de Villiers, out due to injuries; it was up to Sibongile Maswanganye to lead the team to victory. The problematic Taki Mfamadi was too quick for the UJ guards, averaging twenty points in that game. Veteran Sibongile Maswanganye hasn’t lost her ball swag at all! She showed why she’s still in the game and still going strong…

Both teams were at each other’s necks from jump ball, but yet again it was the team who were mentally tougher to win this battle.  The last period was the most entertaining of the four; Ellen Poopsie Mothlwatsi stepped it up for The University of Johannesburg; being an offensive threat and sending the game to overtime. The five minutes were a tough and nail biting experience for the teams, but Takalani Mfamadi kept at it; drawing those fouls; sending Kgaogelo Phiri to the bench and hitting a buzzer beat to give Tuks a one point lead; sending coach Mandla Ngema and his girls back to the drawing board before the game against VUT in two weeks. Outstanding performances from Takalane Mfamadi and Ellen Mothlwatsi!

Not much of an upset, but a let down. ‘Under Dogs’ C.U.T; a team that can cause some riff raft in GBL but like Braamfortain Blues, don’t quite make it; were disbarred of their ‘Under Dog’ status with a 107-68 loss to Egoli Magic. Braamfortain Blues like C.U.T play hard, but reach a point where they can’t really push themselves anymore an end up settling for a loss… But then again, who can blame them? With players like “The Mountain” who is almost impossible to get around and Tsakane Ngobeni; strong on both offence and defense; not even Tshiamo’s drives and grand shots can carry Bram Blues out the gutter… Wits Alumni covered for their embracing loss, winning 88-83 to Braamfortain Blues.

Every time any team plays Scorpions; they predict a win before jump ball. A mistake The Vaal University of Technology’s ladies team made this past Sunday. Having played for Wits, then VUT and now Scorpions; Emma Ledwaba had a point to prove to Zed and his girls. Countless shot blocks, 15 points and running point for most of the game. Emma couldn’t be stopped by anyone from VUT; though many tried; they’d just bounce off her granite body (Rehquel Molema can testify).

Charity Chigumba’s 21 point score was the only girl from Vaal who could come close to matching Emma’s 15 point score and do a decent job guarding Ledwaba.  Vaal led for most of the game but not far enough for Scorpions to catch up to them. Though Scorpions had no big names on the score sheet, they put up a good fight till the end and with 29 seconds on the clock and Scorpions leading by one point, Nombulelo got fouled out. Vaal’s victory was at her disposal… The noise and pressure from the crowd didn’t make it easy for the young girl; nutshell, air balls in a crucial stage sent Vaal home with their first loss for the season. A 45-44 victory by Scorpions was inspired by an all star performance from Coach Willy and the Scorpions ladies.

All the results from the weekend (25/26 July 2009)

Momentum 67 Midrand Pride 46 (D1 men)

Raptors 55 Monash 47 (D1 men)

UP Men 78 Wits Alumni 72 (Men Premier)

UP Men 2nd 20 Soweto Warriors 0 (D3 Men)

VUT Ladies 2nd 20 MGI 0 (D1 Ladies)

UT ladies 55 UJ Galaxy 54 (Ladies Premier)

Soweto Raptors 20 Middleburg 0

Pta Heat 59 UJ Men 61 (Men Premier)

Tlou MGI 77 VUT Men 2nd 76 (D2 Men)

Midrand Pride 50 Monash 48 (D1 Men)

Wits Alumni 88 Braamfontein Blues 83 (Men Premier)

Scorpions Men 84 Boston Media 63 (D1 Men)

VUT ladies 44 – Scorpions 45 (Ladies Premier)

Egoli Magic 107 – CUT 68 (Men Premier)

Soweto Raptors Men 2nd 55 – Grace Bible Church 63 (D2 Men)

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There Are 5 Brilliant Comments

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  1. baller says:

    basketball has its ups and downs. here i was thinking Vaal and UJ ladies will walk away with the GBL. Then Heat and UJ men will do the same. now it seems the script is changing week by week.

  2. Victor says:

    I agree with you baller… The results this past weekend were very interesting and I must say it makes for an interesting GBL 2009…. ciao,V

  3. Nazo says:

    Basketball is starting to look like soccer, Its any mans/womans game. For a team like Wits alumni to loose against Tuks and then some….Nah It will be interesting to see who will make final 4

  4. Springs says:

    i think this just goes to show why basketball is such a beautiful and riveting sport. Basketball 101: five players per team on the floor at any time (regardless of whether they are “stars” or “no-names”,) 2 hoops but… ONE BALL and ONE WINNING TEAM at the end of the game!!!
    anybody can beat anybody else at any time, so wwhether u’re Vaal or UJ or Egoli magic or Wits alumni, better pull up your socks and play hard (yes, even agains “little” teams)

  5. PETER.D says:

    I think we need to improve da level of playing Basketball in all provinces.It is da duty of BSA to facilitate da kind of development.What i am triying to say is we must start under 18 leagues in our provinces dis will make our national tournament to be more interesting and more competetive.
    From PETER.D