Madibaz aiming higher

PE side seeks better luck as Varsity Basketball tournament hots up

Madibaz captain Sikhumbuzo Dlamini, right, surges up the court in their clash against Wits in the Varsity Basketball tournament in Johannesburg last weekend
Madibaz captain Sikhumbuzo Dlamini, right, surges up the court in their clash against Wits in the Varsity Basketball tournament in Johannesburg last weekend
Image: Supplied

The first-ever Varsity Basketball tournament started last weekend, with Nelson Mandela University’s Madibaz side taking part in the eight-team competition at Wits University in Johannesburg.

The Port Elizabeth side haven’t had the greatest start to their campaign, with fourstraight defeats against University of Johannesburg, Vaal University of Technology, Wits and Tshwane University of Technology.

Madibaz basketball captain Sikhumbuzo Dlamini believes their final loss against Tshwane (53-45) should have gone their way and that his players are learning quickly in the competition.

“We should have won that game [against Tshwane],” lamented Dlamini.

“We have to win one game at least, maybe even win the next three.

“We just want to compete right now and the guys who are learning are going to grow with every hurdle that is thrown at them.”

Madibaz have three games left in the competition.

They play University of KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, followed by fixtures against the University of Pretoria and the University of Cape Town on Saturday.

Dlamini said the competition allowed him to see how he was growing.

“Varsity Basketball tells me where I am as a basketball player,” he said.

“We are playing against some of the best basketball players in the country, and I get to learn from them.

“Especially watching them execute the offences, how great their systems are and how the Eastern Cape could do very well if they were able to implement those systems.”

Outside of the four lines of the court, Dlamini applauded Varsity Basketball for its good organisation.

“I love the organisation of Varsity Basketball, I have never seen a basketball event so well organised. The players are well taken care of and there’s never a question lingering about what’s happening next.

“Varsity Basketball is doing a great job.”

The second round of Varsity Basketball starts on Friday, with the round-robin section of the tournament being completed on Saturday.

The top four teams will contest the semifinals on Sunday morning, followed by the final on Sunday afternoon.

The games on Saturday and Sunday will be televised on SuperSport.

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