BASKETBALL: Wits Lady Bucks spring win over UJ

Win ‘too close for comfort’, says Wits player while UJ forward rues ‘poor defence and messy offence. 

Wits Lady Bucks beat the UJ Women’s Basketball team 62-57 in a tight game of the Gauteng University Basketball League (GUBL) in Hall 29 at Wits on Sunday, May 21. 

UJ started off strong leaving Wits 13 points behind by the end of the first quarter.  

As the second quarter progressed UJ’s defence weakened as they struggled to gain momentum throughout the rest of the game. Wits, on the other hand, elevated their defence in the second quarter and ended up shooting 25 more baskets. 

Although UJ caught up with Wits, tying the score at 42-42 in the third quarter, their efforts went down the drain as Wits ultimately reigned supreme at the end of the last quarter with a five-point lead. 

“We lacked mental toughness and discipline, which led to our poor defence and messy offence,” said Ariane Bitchong from UJ who played the power-forward position.   

Top scorer of the day, Chineye Eneanya who shot 14 out of the 38 Lady Bucks baskets, told Wits Vuvuzela that, “Although we eventually won the game, it was too close for comfort. If we constantly keep playing like this, we are gonna lose.” 

Twenty-year-old Lady Bucks supporter, and second-year computer science student, Oriinga Maudu,  was full of praises for Eneanya’s performance, emphasising how “She provided value throughout the 35 minutes she played, despite being tired.”

Pleased about the win, Wits Lady Bucks manager Nametso Raltou said, “This win was a confidence boost for the team as the girls now know that it’s possible to win if we all put in the work.” 

The GUBL started on Thursday, May 18, and is jointly hosted by Wits and the University of Pretoria (Tuks). There are 14 teams in total with half being the men’s teams. The league ends on Sunday, May 28. 

So far Wits has played against Varsity College, Vaal University of Technology and UJ.  On Saturday, May 27, they will play against Tshwane University of Technology, and against North West on Sunday, May 28.   

FEATURED IMAGE: A UJ Women’s Basketball team player pushes through a Wits player’s defence. Photo: Nonhlanhla Mathebula


Wits Lady Bucks to play in the semi-finals

Wits Lady Bucks ready to play in the semi-finals.


THE Wits Lady Bucks Basketball team has qualified for the semi-finals of Gauteng University Basketball League. The Lady Bucks will be playing against  (UJ) Galaxy on Sunday to fight for a spot in the finals.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Some of the Wits Lady Bucks warming up.       Photo: Wendy Mothata

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Some of the Wits Lady Bucks warming up.
                                                                                                                      Photo: Wendy Mothata

This follows Lady Bucks’ journey which started with a loss to Vaal University of Technology last week before picking up in their subsequent matches against North West University and Wits Bucks Ladies.

As the ladies prepare for the encounter, captain Modiegi Mokoka said the team is more concerned with its mental readiness ahead of a “harsh physical play UJ tends to bring forth in games. “
Mokoka outlined that the team needs to overcome fatigue and push on in an aggressive environment.

“The biggest challenge has been remaining cohesive as a team because of the nature of the academic schedule all the students are currently facing. We’ve gone through games without particular players on and off, which means that the team will have to constantly adjust to the manner in which we play each game,” Mokoka said.

The Lady Bucks have been reaching the semi-finals since 2011. “It’s nothing special honestly, we’re quite accustomed to being in the semi-finals, so this is the last step to what actually makes us nervous – which is the final itself,” said Mokoka.

Mokoka said that she is confident that the team will win the game. “We will definitely win the semi and play the league final in October. It’s truly a choice left up to our team at this point. We are a stronger team,” she said.




Related Articles: A loss for Wits basketball teams

Wrapping up basketball tournament

The annual Wits Lady Bucks Basketball Tournament ended on Sunday with the under-18 Mozambique National Team and Michael Mount Waldorf School winning the tournament, in the first and second divisions respectively.

In first division Mozambiqe’s Delma Zita scored more than 21 points to help her team crush V & J 64 to 41 in the final match of the tournament on Sunday.

FIRST DIVISION WINNERS: Under-18 Mozambique National Team dabs for the cup.               Photo: Wendy Mothata

FIRST DIVISION WINNERS: Under-18 Mozambique National Team dabs for the cup.
                                                                                                                                                   Photo: Wendy Mothata


Mozambique delivered outstanding performance from the first match of the tournament, winning all their games. In the semi-finals Mozambique defeated North West University (Vaal) by 41 to 29.

Silvia Amadeu Veloso, Mozambique player, said that basketball is no longer just a game to her but a way of life.

“I love basketball lifestyle and we are having good basketball professionals back at home who inspire us,” said Veloso.

Veloso said that the team played well from the beginning of the tournament, “We really played well, even though some games were intense and intimidating but we finally managed to win.”

Michael Mount won in the second division against A Town Ladies by 50 to 37.  The high school ladies hammered Lakers Basketball Club in the semi-finals by 38 to 19.

Lakers player Charlene Dhlohlo, said that her team trained hard for the tournament even though the team was out in the semi-finals. “It is disappointing that we didn’t make it to the finish line but I hope we will make it next year.”

Tshego Modise, Michael Mount captain, said that her team played well and what helped them to win the tournament was a good team work.

IMG_2060 (2)

SECOND DIVISION WINNERS: Michael Mount Waldorf School celebrating their victory.                      Photo: Wendy Mothata

“It’s all about passing the ball not individual skills,” said Modise.

Michael Mount coach Dubravka Lunnemann said that they attend the tournament every year and the ladies have shown a huge improvement.

“I’m proud of how the ladies played though out the tournament,” said Lunnemann.

The tournament was a celebration of the Lady Ballers and to honour all women across South Africa.



Wits ladies shine on home turf


Wits University’s two ladies’ basketball teams got off to a flying start in this year’s Wits Lady Bucks tournament winning all their matches against visiting teams from around southern Africa.

Playing at home, Wits Buck Ladies (WBL) opened their account with a close 27-20 victory over The Glen High School in court A.  The Bucks then brushed aside neighbours Deutsche Schule Johannesburg (DSJ), 45-22.

A second Wits team, the Wits Lady Bucks (WLB) followed suit with another impressive start defeating Soweto Raptors 54-32 in the opening game. They will play their second game tomorrow evening.

21 matches were scheduled on Women’s Day but only 20 took place as the Mozambique versus Phoenix Flames game was postponed to Saturday, August 13.

The tournament, held in honour of women’s month, includes teams from different parts of the southern Africa including Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland along with local campus teams.

  • ATown Ladies 56-14 Deutsche Schule Johannesburg (DSJ)
  • Jozi Nuggets 34-40 North-West University (Vaal Campus)
  • Griffinz 36-30 Katlehong Pelicans
  • Michael Mount Waldorf 65-22 Monash SA
  • Deutsche Internationa le Schule 30-49 Lakers Basketball Club Jnr
  • ATown Ladies 53-31 The Glen High School
  • Chisz Basketball Team 21-24 Katlehong Pelicans
  • Katlehong Pelicans 49-11 Monash SA
  • Lakers Basketball Club Snr 41-49 VandJ Women’s Basketball
  • North-West University 23-30 VandJ Women’s Basketball
  • Jozi Nuggets 43-47 Lakers Basketball Club Snr

‘Teamwork makes the dream work’

Wits’ women basketball players have outshone their male counterparts in the 2014 season, taking gold in the national league and tying for first place in the provincial league.

The women’s team, Wits Lady Bucks, is now regarded as “the best university team in the country for the 2014 season”, according to team captain Modiegi Mokoka, 3rd year BSc Construction Studies.  The team won the University Sports South Africa (USSA) basketball national championships in July.

Team work

Since then, the team has continued competing in the Gauteng Women’s Basketball League and the Gauteng University Basketball League (GBUL), in which they tied with the Vaal University of Technology for first place.

The men’s team came third in their division in the USSA national championships.

This year, the women’s team adopted a “win at all costs” system as opposed to the “everyone must play” approach of previous years, said Mokoka. Their successful performance this year was attributed to team work.

“We listened, we had confidence, we executed but, most of all, we played for each other. We went from 4th place to number one in the country. There’s no better progress than that,” she said.

After years of competing in the USSA championships, this was the first time the team took the top title, having progressed from sixth place in 2011 to first in 2014.

“We had faith,” said Patience Gumbo, BHSc Honours in Forensic Science and vice-chairperson of the club.  “We wanted to win it.  We really were determined this time. We have gone through so much and pushed through so much that we deserved and owed it to ourselves to give it all.”

The core team competed together since 2010, said Gumbo.  “Bit by bit, we kind of became who we are now, but we are still growing … We have been improving over the years and winning USSA national championships showed that.”

“Losing to VUT constantly by two points since the 2012 season pushed us to our limit.” 

The win had inspired and motivated the team to keep working harder, she said. “The other teams won’t be easier on us and they are just going to keep pushing harder.”

The toughest teams in the competition were Cape Peninsula University of Technology which reached the finals in 2012 and 2013, and Vaal University of Technology (VUT).  VUT were national champions for six years in a row, according to Coach William Matlakala, who has coached the women since 2010.

Game change

“The biggest pusher was that we were tired of defeat,” said Mokoka. “Losing to VUT constantly by two points since the 2012 season pushed us to our limit.”

She said VUT’s team consisted of national and international players and the entire team was on full sports bursaries (tuition and accommodation).  This made it easier for the team to be “basketball orientated”, compared to Witsies who played for the “love of it”.

“VUT and CPUT have scholarships for their players and athletes,” confirmed Matlakala. “We can’t do the same so that has been the main challenge.”

Mokoka said the team’s dynamics were “play as a team to win as a team”, but individuals had opportunities to improve on their own goals.  Their plans were to continue their success until the end of 2014 and to develop new players for the new season in 2015.

Coach Matlakala said defending the championship next year would be much harder, but fortunately, only a small number of players were due to graduate at the end of the year.  Before the end of 2015, they hoped to recruit new and advanced players.

GUBL games will take place this Sunday, from 9am to 5.45pm at Hall 29.