BASKETBALL glory was on display when Pretoria Heat and the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) took the men and women’s trophies in the Ashraf Lodewyk Memorial Tournament this past weekend.
Pretoria Heat beat the VUT men’s team by 63 points to 39 in a tightly contested match, snatching the title from the reigning champions.
“It was beautiful; poetry in motion,” said Heat and national basketball team player Neo Mothiba.
“Everything we trained for came together in 40 minutes. We prepared very hard for this tournament.”
The VUT women, who put on an aggressive defence and a spirited offensive, beat the Wanderers Scorpions by 71 points to 62, capitalising on the fouls committed by the Scorpions in the opening quarter of the game.
VUT’s national point-guard, Requelh Molema, explained her team’s strategy as having been to use post players to dunk the balls, with her assisting when they could not.
“When they could not [net the balls] I had to take responsibility.”
Throughout the game Molema set a fast pace. She opened the fourth quarter by gunning down the court to net a neat basket. Wanderers’ Rethabile Gumede retaliated with a net, but VUT then netted another two balls in quick succession.
A key point for the Pretoria Heat men was Mothiba slam dunking two balls one after the other in the first quarter, setting the tone of the game.
Heat coach, Victor Fouda said this was the team’s strategy; to net baskets early and dominate the game.
“We started off well; the rest was about controlling [the ball and exerting] high intensity on defence.”
Although the VUT men were disappointed with the loss, they conceded to the higher calibre displayed by Pretoria Heat.
“It feels bad [to have lost], I’m angry. We lost to a better team though – I’ll give props where props is due,” said Mxolisi Dlanga.
The annual tournament, begun in 2003 in honour of fallen Wits player Ashraf Lodewyk, was held at Wits Hall 29 on West Campus from May 12-15.