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KZN and Limpopo rule the court at 2009 IPTs

By on December 20, 2009 in News

IPTs09CHRISTMAS came early for the province of Kwazulu-Natal after hosting such a successful tournament and the men’s team being crowned as the new champions of the Basketball South Africa Senior Championship, last Friday at Durban University of Technology in Durban.

The KZN men’s team won this tournament after battling it out with Limpopo in the finals that was packed at the Varsity by 64- 55.  At first it seemed as if the home team was going to lose this match as at some stage Limpopo were trailing by 31-29 end of the first half.  But with the KZN boys fully understanding that leading doesn’t mean you have won and that it not about how you start that matters but how you finish, this saw them coming back in hot form to clinch this victory.It was the experience of the KZN coach Dennis Wucherer, who is a former assistant coach of the German team, revealed it’s self during this tournament.

In the third position, North West surprised everybody as they have improved a lot during this year despite the fact that they were regarded as under dogs of this tournament.  North West took position three after thrashing Western Cape by 63-48.  This goes to show the high standard of these games and the level of commitment that each and every team has putted during these games.

In the Ladies category, Limpopo walked all over Eastern Cape in the finals by trashing them, 79-48.   If there is one team that came prepared to this tournament it was Limpopo as both their men’s and women’s teams reached the finals.  The home team KZN was never going to give up without registering their name in the top three teams that tested glory.  KZN took the third position after beating Free State by 57-41.   80% of the KZN players came to this tournament after being involved with the Provincial government games which had taken place in Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulu-Natal before the start of the tournament.

This meant that these players didn’t get time to rest as they arrived in Durban on Tuesday and the next thing they were on the court playing.  One player can be a crucial ingredient of a team but one player can not make a team, it was the same for Silindle Shange, who inspired the home team to get this far as she was also awarded as the All-star player.

Despite that it was disappointing to see the reigning champions of 2008, Gauteng not participating in this year’s event as they were expected to defend their trophy.  It was also a bit strange to see the decision that was made by Basketball South Africa when they decided who should get the award for the most organized team, while they were not part of tournament and only came in on the last day.  Despite all this the tournament still went well and players displayed lots of talent and skills with the ball.

At the end of the tournament a National Squad was selected for both the Men’s and Women’s team.

President of KZN Basketball Association, Sanele Mthiyane wished all his acknowledgment to the sponsors the people who supported to make this event a success.

“Our teams really performed as expected.  With the minimum amount of time we had to prepare, we are proud of the results.  The women’s team has shown a good improvement from 2006 where they were placed position eight, last year they came out number five and so, to get a bronze medal from the team that had majority of players who had just finished participating in the Government games must be applauded.  Overall I want to thank the participants, the coach who have putted so much effort and not to forget our partners eThekwini Municipality department of Sport and Recreation, DSTV, KZN Academy of Sport and DSR for their support,” said Mthiyane.

Article by Lunga Ntuli and edited by Victor Shakineza

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