The University of Johannesburg men’s basketball team took the honours when they won the University Sport South Africa tournament for the first time since 2009 in Cape Town last week.
Head coach Mandla Ngema was delighted with the outcome after the team had missed out on numerous occasions in recent years.
“I believe the semifinal against Wits was the major breakthrough,” he said, “because that victory gave us the confidence to go on to win the tournament.
“We felt we may face Wits in the semis and knew if we could get past them we had a great chance of winning the title.”
Ngema felt the triumph was just reward for the hard work they had put in.
“I think we were often unlucky in the semifinals in previous tournaments, but the players and the coaches have continued to put in a lot of effort to reach the ultimate goal.
“We work as hard as any team, perhaps harder than many of them, and all that input has now come to fruition.”
Further recognition came for the UJ teams when two men and two women were chosen for the USSA teams at the conclusion of the week. The players are Skhumbuzo Mthembo and Kwazi Gumede (men) and Lufuno Mutungutungu and Pretty Murali (women).
Ngema said they would now regroup and resume their training for the Varsity Basketball competition that takes place at Wits in Johannesburg in October.