Already number one in country, College win St John’s basketball tournament

2014-02-25 00:00

ALREADY ranked number one in the country, Maritzburg College reached the pinnacle of South African schools basketball when they won the St John’s College Invitational Basketball Tournament over the weekend.

By winning the tournament, College confirmed their status as the best basketball-playing school in the country.

“I’m really proud of the boys. We played so many games over a short period of time. There were injuries and fatigue, but in the end we pulled through,” captain Siyathokoza “Shaq” Magubane told The Witness yesterday.

Leading up to the finals of the tournament, the skipper said the games stopped being a physical affair, and started to become a mental challenge.

“In the quarter-finals, we were all quiet in the change room as we were all nervous. But we tried to liven it up by singing songs,” said Magubane,

Following a quarter-final win over St Stithians, College went on to play the highly rated Pretoria Boys’ High School team in the semi-finals. They won that game and faced another highly rated team from Pretoria, St Alban’s College. Thozamile Sineke, given the MVP award after the final, said while the game against Saints and Pretoria Boys’ were tough, they were able to beat St Alban’s with ease in the final.

“The game against Pretoria Boys’ was our hardest game and we managed to win that by three points,” Sineke told The Witness, who was one of two College players selected into the tournament’s All Star team. Sineke said winning the tournament was a result of a number of years of working together as a team. “We all started working towards this in Grade 8. As soon as we got to College, we knew we could be going to the tournament,” the matric pupil said.

Speaking on the experience of competing at a national tournament, Siphesihle Buthelezi, the other player who was selected into the All Star team, said they enjoyed pitting their skills against the best schoolboy basketball players in the country. “It’s been a while since we played tough teams. We enjoyed being there, competing and then taking in the sights,” Buthelezi said.

Towards the end of next month, they will be taking part in the DHS tournament, which for the matrics would be the last time they represent College.

“Since we won the tournament in St John’s, there’s pressure on us to perform at the DHS tournament. But, we’re confident that we can win it too,” said the captain, Magubane.

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