EC team beat bottom-half hoodoo
Eastern Cape Aloes will be looking to book a spot in the Brutal Fruit Netball League national semifinals when they play Gauteng Golden Fireballs at the Mangaung Indoor Sports Centre in Bloemfontein today (6pm).
Aloes are in sixth place on the log – the first time they have been in the top half of the standings since joining the league.
Their quarterfinal opponents in today’s match are third on the log.
Coach Desiree Neville said her players had gained confidence from their notable 51-44 win against Baobabs last weekend.
“We are very pleased with last weekend’s results,” she said.
“The team was a bit depleted but we still managed to come away with a confident win.
“Obviously, every week is a new game, so we have to focus on what lies ahead, but we are not going into the match against the Fireballs expecting to lose.
“We are going into that game motivated to come away with a win, which means we will not have to play on Saturday,” she said.
“If we don’t win we will certainly be out to produce the best possible result we can, but we are confident of doing well.
“I think the players came away with their spirits high after last weekend.
“They are actually starting to really gel together and they are positive. “I am looking forward to tonight.” Although Aloes are faced with a number of injuries, the coach will be happy to welcome captain Nosiphiwo Goda back to the team.
Tonight’s match is part of the quarterfinal playoffs for positions three to six.
The two winners from the four teams in action will qualify for the semifinals, which will be played next weekend.
The losers of tonight’s quarterfinals play each other tomorrow for positions five and six.
“The worst we can finish is sixth,” Neville said.
“If we could finish fifth, that would also be good, but obviously the first prize is to advance straight to the semis next weekend. “Last year we finished seventh. “The Aloes have never finished higher than that spot, so for us this is already a big improvement.
“We have already broken that spell of finishing in the bottom half and being in the top half is a major plus for us.”