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The Fireballs and the Crinums were both unbeaten coming into this game and locked on eight points apiece. Both teams were eager to protect their unbeaten runs and were ready for the task that lay ahead. The first quarter was a tightly contested affair, but the Crinums had the upper hand with a two-goal lead. The same intensity carried over to the second quarter; the defensive pressure from both teams resulted in a turnover battle, however, the Crinums were quick to profit from the gains that presented themselves and extend their lead by four goals at half-time.

The two sides were equally dominant in the third quarter and showed brilliant passages of play. Tshina Mdau and Bongi Msomi fed Owethu Ngubane and Nomfundo Mngomezulu with great precision in trying to keep up with the Crinums, who had good control of the ball amidst their quick movements. The Fireballs worked overtime on defense and their efforts saw them deadlocked at thirty-nine all in the last eight minutes of the game. The Crinums welcomed the strategic stoppage time that was called by coach Martha Mosoahle Samm. Martha made some wholesome changes, five to be exact, to match the strong finish she had hoped for. Crinums’ Goal Keeper Ané Retief received a warning in the dying minutes of the game, which injected some more confidence in the Fireballs’ shooting circle to slot the last goal in before the final whistle and claim a 45-44 victory.
‘’It’s all about belief. It starts with the belief, by the end of the third quarter before the fourth, I said to them, I don’t see the belief and I want to see it in your eyes before you get off this bench and, they did. We didn’t play well, we struggle with ball in hand, we are very expensive and we make bad decisions at critical stages but, when you play bad and, you can pull off a game like this, that’s a sign of a good team’’, Fireballs coach Dr Elsje Jordaan said after the game.

Another enticing game saw the Gauteng Jaguars win two back-to-back wins after beating the Stings 53-40. The Stings were looking to redeem themselves after giving away a three-quarter lead yesterday and ended up losing to the Crinums by three goals. The Stings created multiple chances and had thirty-one attempts at half-time, but were unable to capitalize on those opportunities, sitting on a sixty-eight goal percentage. However, credit must be given to the Jaguars team who were determined to go for a clinical win judging by the good decision making that was evident on court.

And lastly, Cornelia Mupenda produced another Player of the match performance to steer the Limpopo Baobabs to their third victory after beating the Eastern Cape Comets 59-32. Both teams showed plenty of energy in the first quarter and at that point no one could tell who this game would go in favor of, even though the Baobabs took an early four-goal lead. The Baobabs defense did a great job in silencing the Comets drives on attack, restricting the Eastern Cape side to scoring just six goals in the second quarter. Coach Emily Mathosa’s changes only came in the third quarter when the Baobabs were sixteen goals ahead, but all six changes that came in did not hinder with the teams’ momentum. The Comets regained their mojo in the last quarter, but not enough time was left to try and make up for their mistakes. The Baobabs will next face the Lilies in the Limpopo derby tomorrow morning to wrap up the weekend’s action.

Full Results:
Diamonds 26-49 Sunbirds
Sonoblomo 46-40 Lilies
Stars 26-54 Flames
Crinums 44-45 Fireballs
Baobabs 59-32 Comets
Jaguars 53-40 Stings

4 June 2023 (Sunday) Fixtures
08:00- Tornados vs Diamonds
10:00- Baobabs vs Lilies