With the 2019 Varsity Basketball tournament tipping off on Friday, 4 October the eight competing men’s teams have revealed their squads.
UWC and NWU (replacing Madibaz and TUT) are the new teams from those who featured during the inaugural tournament a year ago, so have named 12-man squads featuring only debutants.
For the other six, defending champions and hosts Wits, UCT, UJ, VUT, UKZN and UP-Tuks there is a varying range of ‘experience’.
UJ lead the way having retained nine players from their 2018 squad who made it to the semi-finals before UCT shocked them. The continuity seems to have already worked in their favour after the they won the USSA title this past July in Cape Town.
Meanwhile, defending champions Wits, semi-finalists VUT and UKZN (USSA runners-up) can all call on seven returnees from their 2018 Varsity Basketball squads. As such, they should again be among the contenders for the top four.
UCT, who finished as Varsity Basketball runners-up are an interesting case. By the time they faced Wits in last year’s final, they were down to only nine fit players. Only three of them will return (and a further one who dropped out with injury during the tournament), and they finished outside the top eight at USSA so it will be intriguing to see how their new blood fares.
UP-Tuks, on the hand, have half their squad returning and will hope that those players lead the Stripe Generation to a much better showing than a year ago.
These are the players looking to vie for MVPs and ‘All Star’ nominations when Varsity Basketball 2019 gets underway on Friday, 4 October:
NWU: 4 Voyani Mpolweni, 5 Mkhululi Mazibuko, 6 Khaulani Miti, 7 Thapelo Mkhatshwa, 8 Tinotenda Chirara, 9 Boitumelo Rantao, 10 Vuyisile Sicwebu, 11 Daniel Muyambo, 12 Sanele Ngomane, 13 Itumeleng Radiokana, 14 Beryl Kabongo, 15 Themba Nkutha.
UCT: 5 Devan Liang, 6 Tinotenda Mapurisa, 7 Nicolas Rethman, *8 Chang Gatere, *11 Mutsa Bingandadi, 12 Samuel Pottinger, 15 Shalom Abiodum, *20 Jamal Fernandes, 21 Brave Twahirwa, 25 Abrams Nsahlai, 33 Alex Arendse, *45 Kuhlekonke Bophela.
UJ: 0 Disase Kabange, *1 Manasse Kabasele, *2 Karabo Likotsi, 3 Junior Landangoye, 8 James Amala, *9 Skhumbuzo Mthembu, *10 Peace Famudimo, *11 Mpumelelo Mahlati, *12 Zett Mutongoza, *13 Trystan Speck, *14 Nathan Baruti, *15 Lance Chikore.
UKZN: 3 Minenhle Mathonsi, *5 Zolani Khuzwayo, *6 Lehlohonolo Mhlongo, *7 Thabo Sithole, *8 Christopher Ciliza, 9 Ndumiso Mngadi, *10 Kenan Davidson, *11 Jean Amisi, 12 Mthobisi Mncwango, 13 Austine Mbuyisa, 14 Luyanda Mkhize, *15 Nkanyiso Ntombela.
UP-Tuks: 4 Otsile Kono, *5 Lungelo Dlamini, *6 Adriaan Geldenhuys, 7 JayJay Worral, *8 Brandon Dick, 9 Nicolas Rovetto, *10 Louis Motaung, 11 Blessing Longhe, 12 Emmanuel Shine, *13 Akinbiyi Odunlade, 14 Liam Hayward, *15 Ludwig Gerdes.
UWC: 4 Xabiso Ntambeka, 5 Dylan Seragie, 6 Siyabulela Mdekazi, 7 Liam Arendse, 8 Kwakho Ntsengentsu, 9 Adrian Daniels, 10 Emmanuel Adisa, 11 Sicelo Dzingwa, 12 Jamey Collop, 13 Kyle Hugo, 14 Kean Arendse, 15 Cole Newel.
VUT: *4 Jeft Mokwena, *6 Thabiso Mogakabe, *7 Chris Monoke, *8 Jan Makgota, 9 Nathan Makadiama, *10 Anthony Chukwurah, *11 Abel Kalubi, 12 Wembo David, *13 Richard Lubasi, 14 Yann Ekogha.
Wits: *4 Angelo Quinn, *5 Mvelo Buthelezi, *7 Briarley Klassen, *8 Kgaogelo Sathekge, 9 Siphesihle Buthelezi, *10 Kgotso Ntuane, 11 Isira Hasirangashe, *12 Miguel Ferrao, 14 Bulelani Mabudusha, *15 David Mbamalu, 16 Adam Ebrahim.
*played in 2018 Varsity Basketball tournament
Tickets will be available for R10 at Wits Multi-purpose Sports Hall on matchdays. Alternately, watch selected Varsity Basketball fixtures live on SuperSport or follow updates @varsitysportsSA on social media – #VarsityBallin.