The Madibaz men’s and women’s basketball teams will take on the universities of Fort Hare and Rhodes in the first round of the Ussa Eastern Cape league qualifiers at NMMU’s Missionvale campus in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Both home teams won their respective league categories last year without dropping a single game. The overall league winners go through to the nationals at the end of June.

Men’s captain Ronald Musvibe said the Madibaz were in the process of building a championship team.

“We have been dominating the Eastern Cape but now we want a national ring,” said the 26-year-old BCom student. “We train three times a week and I am positive we can do well.”

Vice-captain Lwazi Mapitiza said that although the team had a lot of new players, they would provide strong competition.

“We qualified for the quarterfinals in the opening tournament of the Nelson Mandela Bay Basketball Association, so our season got off to a good start and the potential is definitely there.”

Mapitiza, a third-year IT student who has represented the Madibaz since 2011, said senior player Kwabena Frimpong would play a major role in the team’s fortunes this season.

“We are up against experienced teams who have been together for a long time but if we can learn how to work well together I think we can win.”

NMMU Madibaz women’s co-captain Zola Nogaga said they had been focusing on getting tournament ready.

“We have appointed two coaches and we’ve been focusing on technique – including shooting, defence, running and keeping in form.

“We have a lot of new players but everyone contributes in their own way,” said the 25-year-old IT student.

She said it was important to create a positive atmosphere within the team.

“We get new players every year but as time progresses we find that we play well together because of the chemistry we create off the court.”

Zimbabwean-born co-captain Vanessa Muchenje said they were pushing themselves to once again make it to the nationals, where the men and women placed eighth and 13th respectively last year.

The men will face UFH-Tigers at 10am and Rhodes at 1pm while the women will meet Fort Hare at 11.30am and Rhodes at 2.30pm.

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Ronald Musvibe will captain the NMMU Madibaz men’s team at the first round of the Ussa Eastern Cape league qualifiers at the NMMU Missionvale Campus in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. Photo: Supplied

Issued by:

Coetzee Gouws
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Madibaz Sport