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BNL: Tshwane Suns final stretch to the playoffs

By on August 23, 2014 in BNL

By the end of the weekend the dust will have settled on the Basketball National League (BNL) regular season and already the teams that will contest the play-offs have been determined.

The Duzi Royals, Tshwane Suns, Egoli Magic and Soweto Panthers or KwaZulu-Natal Marlins will have all sealed their spots for the final four showdowns next week at the Wembley Arena in Johannesburg.

One team that will need to make a strong statement in the final round of regular season matches this weekend are the league champions, Tshwane Suns, who will be taking on a tough Western Cape Mountaineers team tomorrow at the Wembley Arena.

The Suns, although, have come under a lot of criticism for their offensive struggles since their first and only defeat to unbeaten KwaZulu-Natal franchise, Duzi Royals two weeks ago.

Although the Suns did redeem themselves with weekend victories over Limpopo Pride (last Friday) and Northern Cape Zebras (last  Sunday), the Tshwane side will know those wins were not the polished performances they would have wanted going into the play-offs.

BNL, 2014, Wembley

Photo by Frennie Shivambu

Suns point guard Tichifara Mabiza, believes his team will send a strong message to their critics and that message will have to be with a resounding victory over the Mountaineers.

“We haven’t made a statement yet so against the Mountaineers we have to show people that we are still contenders,” said Zimbabwe-born Mabiza, who maintained they will stick to their brand of basketball. “We will still be good defensively, adjustments will be made offensively and every player will be accountable. I am sure we will peak at the right time.”

While some may have written off the title chances of the Suns, Mabiza pointed out that it was a similar case last season when they had lost twice to the Mpumalanga Rhinos (formerly the Mmombela Wildcats) in the regular season but they went on to secure the inaugural title against the same opposition last season.

“We wanted to finish the regular season undefeated, but last season we were in a situation where we lost twice to the Wildcats and ended winning the league,” said Mabiza.

Good news coming from the Suns’ camp is that regular team captain Neo Mothiba has returned to practice after missing most of the season with a foot injury. Mothiba will likely get a run against the Mountaineers before the play-offs begin where the Suns are likely to face the Egoli Magic next week.

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