The fourth and final game of Day One at the Varsity Basketball tournament held at the Wits Old Mutual Sports Hall, pulled in the record crowd for the day, with those in attendance not being disappointed as Wits University managed to beat the University of Cape Town 78-61.
Wits who have already been dubbed as one of the tournament favourites, were expected to get one over UCT and just that, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing at the start with the teams deadlocked at 19-19 after the first quarter. It took a big effort for Clinton Meela’s Wits troops to eventually go on and kill off UCT’s chances.
The game was played in an electrifying atmosphere provided by those sitting court side. Both teams looked up for the challenge as the ball got rolling, with UCT doing well to absorb the Witsies attacks in the early exchanges. Both sides were fairly at par with each other, which reflected at the close of the first quarter, with the teams deadlocked at 19 apiece. The second quarter was where Wits took the game to UCT, showing a better conversion rate of their baskets.
UCT had their moments in the quarter, with their captain Siphumle Qanya having a moment of brilliance just before the end of the quarter with back to back jump shots that awarded his side a late 6 points. At the break however it was Wits who enjoyed the better of UCT.
The last two quarters saw Wits maintain their lead fairly comfortably, with the experienced Miguel Ferrao working extremely hard in attack alongside Kgotso Ntuane. In the end Wits were too far ahead for UCT to grasp, as the legs seemed to grow heavier for the men from the Western Cape, who at the sound of the final buzzer fell to 78-61 defeat.
Wits 78-61 UCT
Man of the Match: Miguel Ferrao (Wits)
Wits: 4. Angelo Quinn, 5. Mvelo Buthelezi, 6. Kgaugelo Sathekge, 7. Briarley Klaasen, 8. Thamsanqa Nyawo, 9. Kgotseng Makena, 10. Clinton Meela, 11. Makoye Mapani, 12. Miguel Ferrao, 13. Everisto Passipamere, 14. David Mbamalu, 15. Kgotso Ntuane
UCT: 3. Siphumle Qanya, 6. Kyle Maclean, 8. Change Gatere, 10. Brian Aliam, 11. Joshua Phiri, 13. Mutsa Bingandani, 15. Patrice Menda, 20. Jamal Fernandes, 33. Duncan Nicholson, 45. Buhle Bhopela
By S’fiso Nyawo