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The Jaguars redeemed themselves against the North West Flames in pressure style and secured a 47-29 win. This was the Jaguars’ first victory in the four days of action that have taken place so far at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Polokwane. Both teams had a wobbly start to the match as they slowly eased into the thick of things. The Flames were in the lead by one goal in the early stages of the match, but three consecutive missed shots handed the Jaguars a four-goal lead in the first quarter.

The Flames’ shooting woes carried into the second quarter when the Jaguars blocked off their goal third through area defense, which forced the Flames’ attackers to work overtime to make sure the ball makes it into the circle. The defensive pressure still poured into the shooting circle, forcing some missed long-range shots from Goal Shooter Caitlin Du Plessis, who couldn’t be aptly supported by partner Carli Swart due to the Jaguars’ insurmountable defensive work of Jamie Van Wyk (Goal Defense) and Jasmine Ziegelmeier (Goal Keeper).

Sanmarie Visser (GD) and Martine Jordaan (GK) worked relentlessly to turn the ball on defense, and the Flames’ shooters showed up in the third quarter, presenting harmonious pieces of interplay which led to the side scoring the most goals in that quarter. However, the Jaguars were just too commanding and hard to counter, and strived back to winning ways in the competition.

Meanwhile, the defending champions wrapped up the Power Week undefeated following their 63-42 win against the Eastern Cape Aloes. The Aloes, on the other hand, got a taste of what being in the top division is like with the three games they played. The Aloes had multiple moments of brilliance in all three matches and were able to challenge the Fireballs in the first and final quarters in today’s game. Aloes coach Sameisha Esau used these matches as practice for when the league resumes in June and will look to use the break effectively.

The Kingdom Stars lost their third consecutive game 29-48 against the Free State Crinums this morning. Shooting has been an area of concern for Stars’ coach Precious Mthembu lately, and today was no different. The Stars finished with a fifty-two-goal percentage, having only scored twenty-nine of their fifty-six attempts. Precious made some beneficial changes in the second half that completely changed the game. On the defensive end, they put up a decent fight against the Crinums and were able to transition down court smoothly and convert. Despite a dominant finish after winning both the third and fourth quarters, the performance still did not warrant a victory in the end. Refiloe Nketsa was exceptional on Goal Defense for the Crinums and became the first player to earn back-to-back Player of the Match awards this season.

In Division Two, the Mpumalanga Sunbirds recovered from a first-quarter defeat to beat the Kingdom Queens 49-34 in a voracious encounter. It took some time for the Sunbirds’ shooters to find their mojo, which gave the Queens a slight edge. The Sunbirds eventually kicked into gear halfway through the first quarter, and it started becoming a battle of intercepts and defensive rebounds. A total of eight intercepts were snatched, five of those went in favor of the Queens who took a two-goal lead.

Tumelo Nkoe (Goal Defense) teamed up with Palesa Mbukwana (Goal Keeper) on defense for the second quarter, and that combination impressed early with Nkoe stealing two consecutive intercepts to move level on fourteen goals. The Queen’s attack was ineffectual in trying to infiltrate the Sunbirds’ defensive barrier in their goal third, giving away the ball, which the Mpumalanga side profited from through conversions. Even when the ball made it into the circle, the Queen’s shooters continued to be rattled by the colossal pressure that came from Thembi Mdluli’s side. Mbukwana had a field day on the defensive end, clawing on a couple of intercepts to help her side increase their lead and win the game by fifteen goals.

Meanwhile, the Tornados silenced a vibrant arena after defeating their home team, the Limpopo Lilies, 52-27. The Lilies started off like a house on fire, with their supporters cheering them on, and were only one goal behind after the first fifteen minutes. The Lilies couldn’t replicate the same run rate, which fueled the Tornados to push even harder in the second quarter. Quick releases into the shooting circle and some superb first-phase defense from the Western Cape team made it difficult for the hosts to close the twenty-goal margin in the third quarter. The crowd continued to chant from the grandstands to inject some confidence into the debutants, but the Tornados had already completed the job of maintaining their winning streak.

And lastly, the Diamonds made history for themselves and will go home beaming with confidence after winning all three of their games at the start of the league. Coach Nthabiseng Hottie has attributed the success to teamwork, on and off the court. The Northern Cape side outmatched the Eastern Cape Comets and walked away with a 41-38 win this afternoon. Both teams came out firing from the first whistle and maintained the same intensity until the end of the third quarter, deadlocked on thirty-one goals apiece. Comets’ Goal Attack Asekho Njeza lost a crucial ball at the edge of the circle and missed out on an opportunity to move within one goal. Diamonds’ Centre Senestie Ponie claimed a majestic intercept from the Comets’ centre pass in the final twenty seconds, which they were able to convert and extinguish the match with a slim three-goal cushion.


Sunbirds 49-34 Queens

Stars 29-48 Crinums

Aloes 42-63 Fireballs

Diamonds 41-38 Comets

Tornados 52-27 Lilies

Jaguars 47-29 Flames

Monday Fixtures: 01/05/2023

8:00|Div.2|Baobabs vs Queens

10:00|Div.2|Lilies vs Sunbirds