The first official Varsity Basketball tournament got underway at the Wits Old Mutual Sports Hall, with a sizzling game of ball that saw the Vaal University of technology edge the University of Pretoria 60-56 in the end.
Going into the game, VUT were the favourites without a doubt, coming into the tournament as winners of the basketball section of the USSA tournament, which is used as the qualifying competition for the Varsity Basketball tournament.
Game one of the tournament saw VUT get off to a wonderful start, getting 9 points on the board without a reply from Tuks. With 4 minutes remaining in the first quarter, Tshidiso Matebesi produce a sublime lay up to get the men from Pretoria their first points, but unfortunately it was 9-2. A minute later VUT were back troubling the scorers going up 14-2.
The rest of the quarter saw Tuks look to claw their way back but it wasn’t to be as VUT continued to lead 19-7 at the conclusion of the quarter. The second second quarter was more of the same, with VUT keeping a safe distance between themselves and Tuks on the scoreboard. Richard Lubasi led from the front for VUT, proving elusive on attack and defending well to see his team off to a 36-23 lead at the break.
The return of play saw a great come back from Tuks, who managed to find a way back into the game, with score at 38-33 with 4 minutes to go in the third quarter. It was an incredible fight back that saw the deficit between the two sides sit at 6 points with the score at 48-42 to VUT at the sound of the buzzer with a quarter to go.
The final quarter took a major effort defensively from VUT, who never lost their lead throughout the game but Tuks did manage to level matters at 56-56 with just minutes to go. The last 2 minutes were however quite tense after VUT had found a way back to take the lead. Tuks asked many questions but VUT’s Anthony Chukwubuka was always there to use his height and strength to his advantage, blocking the TUKS attempts. In the end, after an intense minute VUT held on to get a hard fought 60-56 victory.
VUT 60-56 Tuks
Man of the Match: Richard Lubasi (VUT)
VUT: 4. Jeft Mokwena, 5. Nkosinathi Festile, 6. Thabiso Magakabe, 7. Kolawole Ayodele, 8. Jan Makgota, 9. Christian Manoke, 10. Anthony Chukwubuka, 11. Abel Kalubi, Richard Lubasi
Tuks: 4. Tshidiso Matebesi, 5. Lungelo Dlamini, 6. Brandon Dick, 7. Otshepegile Msiza, 8. Rufaro Warinda, 9. Manelisi Mthiyane, 10. Braydon Wooley, 11. Cody Samuels, 12. Louis Motaung, 13. Akinbiyi Odunlade, 14. Adrian Geldenhuys, 15. Ludwig Gerdes
By S’fiso Nyawo