Coach Masie likes to tell his players “It is always better to loose earlier during the group stages than in the finals.” After watching last night’s finals one has to admit that Cats have got the best technical team in the province. The Cats went into the finals with a lot of pressure on their shoulders. They were on the brink of making history for all the wrong reasons. The team understood the importance of keeping the team’s reputation intact; and they delivered. That game was lit! #CPUTCats avoided losing in 2 finals in a row.
A prepared mind will help you overcome the toughest obstacles. Chance favours the prepared mind. Discipline was the order of the day. The team kept calm throughout the game. They kept it simple and stuck to the game plan which was to clinch the title. Clearly they had a lot of fun doing it. Even though the mandate was to win, they played with a lot of flair. The vociferous crowd kept on singing and chanting supporting the team.
One thing players need to learn to do is to mind their own business and concentrate on executing the game plan & let the supporters be. Once you decide to take the crowd on, things can backfire in a big way, which is what happened to some UCT players. The referees are human beings so sometimes they make humanly errors. Ted made 3 clean blocks that were called as fouls.
Sarp Sozzeri has found his groove back. We can safely say the Spiderman is back. He plays more with the team and he shows up on defence. Whenever he scores a 3 pointer all I can remember is Limba Luthando, favourite phrase “#LightsOut“! He put a lot of effort in his game.
Weldon Schuman had some slick moves scoring crucial and difficult points when it mattered. Vuyo Vuzu Vellem speed caused lots of problems for UCT’s defence because sometimes he exposed them when they were caught off guard. He would cut through the tall UCT wall with the #EuroSteplike a hot knife through butter. He showed a lot of bravery. He didn’t his opponents on a pedestal. He came to conquer.
Mubyayi Eric didn’t play to his full strength. He is a lot better than what he brought to the game. For a big guy he wasn’t aggressive enough to cause trouble for his opponents. Luckily for him, his team mates were on top of their game and they covered for him where he slacked. After all it was the team work that helped them be triumphant.
Ted Tonye sometimes known as Mr 50% showed up in a big way. His game has improved tremendously. He shows up on defence blocking shots and crushing boards. He shows up on offence placing himself in the right place and taking shots inside the parameter line. His weakness which he needs to improve is that he should show a more sense of urgency whenever he receives the ball. Quick decision making is key when you are playing against a competitive side. He missed a lot of free throws during the game. It is a good thing the Cats were leading by double digits otherwise under different circumstances this could have been their downfall.
The star of the night was the team captain Luthando Moza Mpano who played a critical role in ensuring that the Cats reclaim their glory. His quick hands on defence in stealing all those balls from his opponents was a marvel to watch. Although he is a rookie in the students team, he is a veteran in the team. He commands the game and you can see that he has been well groomed from a very young age. His basketball IQ is second to none. Every move he makes has a purpose. He dished out some of the best assists I have ever seen in basketball – be it NCAA, NBA, Olympics you name it. From the spy two assist, to the no look passes to the passes that came from around the back, he surely kept the crowd entertained. Clearly competing in the BNL last year played a huge role in his growth as a player because he is not scared to take calculated risks.
The Cats started the season and finished with a total of 9 players who played in the finals. It has been a tough road because the team consists of a lot of rookies. They only have 2 natural bigs. Fitness played a huge role to get them to where they are today. They worked hard during practice on both their physical aspects and their psyche. All the hard work and sacrifices reflected in their game. The left everything on the court during the finals. They complemented each other well on the court and they stuck to the game plan.
1st Quarter Cats 20 UCT 14
2nd Quarter Cats 22 UCT 15
3rd Quarter Cats 16 UCT 15
4th Quarter Cats 21 UCT 21
Final Score Cats 79 UCT 65
Largest lead of the game was 22 points which was the same margin the Cats had lost with during the qualifiers against UCT. Vengeance unlimited was served rather cold. The Cats led from beginning to end.
The #CPUTCATS Ladies team might be dominated by rookies but it seems like somethings don’t change. The spirit of winning still runs through their veins. These ladies have got a lot of character. One thing coach Kimathi Toboti appreciates about his players is their perseverence. They don’t back down from a challenge. It was refreshing to see the senior players coming into their own and stepping up. UWC never stood a chance against the Cats. Those ladies have got speed, they have height, they can scored, and most importantly they have heart.
CPUT Ladies were crowned the USSA WC Basketball Champions
Well done on executing the plan and keeping the name of the institution on the map. #CPUTCats are the 2016 USSA WC Basketball Champions