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WCBA pre-season tournament: Vikings make an early statement…

By on May 6, 2010 in League

After 2 gruelling days of basketball for all teams involved in the WCBA tournament, it all came down to another clash between the Vikings and the CATS in the Men’s final. These two teams have dominated the basketball landscape in Western province for the last few years and Montana Vikings look like they have stolen a step on their opponents in 2010. In the ladies final, it was home team UCT vs. CATS ladies. Having lost to UCT in the USSA qualifiers final, CATS wanted to set the record straight and they came out all guns blazing.Montana Vikings vs. Cape Peninsula University of Technology – Men’s final

Vikings have added to the team that won the championship in 2010 with Denwin Jones (Vikings 7) running point and keeping things under control. With this being the first competitive event that they had entered, The Vikings started the game with the confidence of a team that just picked up where they left off in 2009. Although they had a smaller bench, they used it to good effect. They had the bigger size and they made the CATS feel it with some early pounding in the post. All their early points were in the paint and the CATS didn’t look to have the measure of them.

The CATS were struggling to get their offence going in the first two quarters and they were being outhustled out of every possession. They had a bigger bench but didn’t show the hunger to compete against the Vikings even when the coach mixed up the team. Their shots were not falling and whenever they tried to run their fastbreak sets, they were making turnovers. By halftime the score was 36 – 12 to the Vikings.

After having a quiet 2009 season, Lyle Robertson (Vikings 8) was having one of those great nights with his outside shooting and his driving on point. His overall performance in the final showed character and growth and he kept bringing it to the CATS. The Vikings were playing with the swagger of a seasoned champion and it was a team performance.

Whenever the CATS wanted to make a run, they were shut down quickly. CATS were hoping to rely on the experience of Vincent Ntunja and Andre Junior Ondenga to see them through but they were well looked after by a Vikings defense that played as a team. The performance of the CATS was disjointed at all levels and you could see the frustration from the coach Kimathi Toboti and the players as they knew they didn’t bring their A game to this battle. They looked like an old team versus a team of upstarts trying to make a statement early in the season. They didn’t defend, rebound for most parts of the game and they were a bunch of individuals trying to get the team going against a well oiled machine that the Vikings have assembled.

In the end, the 3 pointers kept raining down for the Vikings until the final whistle and in the end it was a comfortable win for the Montana Vikings, leaving their coach Craig Daniels satisfied with his team performance. Let’s wait and see how the CATS will react in the regular season because much more is expected from them. Final score: Montana Vikings 68 – 45 CATS

University of Cape Town vs. Cape Peninsula University of Technology

CATS were facing UCT in the second tournament final of the year, with honours going to UCT in the first one, so we were in for a good game…

UCT have assembled a competitive team that will be there at the finish line when it’s time for the playoffs. They faced a CATS team that wanted to show that they could also compete and be a force to be reckoned with.

The game started at a fast pace with the CATS doing most of the running. It was lay up after lay up in the first 2 quarters… CATS perimeter players were in total control from the word go. By half time they were leading 34 – 23 with UCT trying to get their inside game going to catch up.

It looked like the UCT ladies were without a coach and despite this they were still in the game for long periods. They started the 3rd quarter with more control on the defensive side of things against what looked like a CATS second unit. UCT played great defence to restrict their opponents to 6 points in the whole quarter but they struggled to turn that into points on the other end.

With the CATS struggling for points in the 3rd quarter, coach Matthew Skade started with an offensive minded team in the fourth and it was like flicking a switch; all of a sudden it was basket after basket for his team. They were passing the ball well and executing really well on offense while also restricting their opponents to difficult shots with their defense.

Final score: CATS 54 – 35 UCT

Other tournament results:

Mens semi-finals:  

Vikings(1) 64 vs Vikings(2) 22

Cats 67 vs UCT(1) 42

Article by Victor Shakineza

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