KATLEGO PHEEHA

Tuks men’s first basketball team played Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in the second game of the Gauteng University Basketball League (GUBL) finals on 20 October.

Having lost the first of the three-match series, Tuks needed to win this match to force a third game to be played. But Tuks was unable to stop the in-form defending champions, and lost 75-64, which saw VUT win their third final in a row.

Tuks started the match fiercely, netting the first two baskets without a response from VUT. But two jump shots from power-forward Lucky Phiri allowed VUT to take the lead in the first quarter. By the end of the first half Tuks was trailing 38-27.

Tuks performed better in the second half by focusing on their offence. Shooting-guard Teboho Nkotsi scored a basket in the third quarter, extending his lead as Tuks’s leading points scorer.

Even though Tuks dominated in the second half, the defending champions regained control of the match and the third quarter ended 55-46.

In the fourth quarter, Tuks made the most of every ball and contested rebounds, continuing with their offensive game. However, they lacked the intensity they had shown in the previous quarter. VUT continued to control the game, ending the game two with a double-digit win.“The game took a turn for the worse when our starters could not score and [we] were forced to play the bench while they kept scoring. At the end of the day, we did our best and we will be there again next year,” said Tuks1 coach Neo Mothiba.

Despite finishing the season without any trophies, 2012 was Tuks1 men’s best season in the university’s history. The club reached two finals for the first time, having made it to the University Sports South Africa (USSA) National Championships final, and the GUBL finals. The team also finished second in the league during the regular season, behind champions VUT. Mothiba was named as 2012 Coach of the Year after leading his team to their most successful season yet.

“I give it all to the guys that make sure that my job is a bit easier. I have learnt a lot from these players and they have learnt a lot from me. The support and motivation they showed me is the only reason why this huge compliment was bestowed upon me,” he said.

Photo: Kobus Barnard

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