WOLVES WOUNDED BY PANTHERS
By: Tony Manyangadze
‘A clash of the genii.’
This is the most suitable phrase to describe the adrenaline-charged final basketball challenge between the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Pietermaritzburg side, Panthers and DUT’s Durban side, Wolves, on Saturday.
This annual university basketball tournament was organised and hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal Basketball.
The end of the first quarter saw the Maritzburg-based boys leading 18 to 12. But this was not the case after at the culmination of second quarter when the Wolves managed to narrow the Panthers lead by just one point making it 31 to 32 points.
This however, was the closest they got to equalising let alone taking the lead. The third quarter and the first half of the fourth quarter was just a competitive exchange of baskets. Supporters anxiously supported their teams chanting; “Defence, defence,” and simultaneously clapping their hands in a rhythmic way. For most, making the decision to support either the Panthers or the Wolves was a difficult one to make for the obvious reason- both teams are from DUT.
It was within the last 8-minutes of the final quarter that the Panthers managed to extend and secure a win. The Wolves tried to stop them by implementing man-to-man marking strategy, a very wise move, but it was rather too late. The final score: Panthers 76, Wolves 60.
“We have worked so hard to get here, we are very happy we won. We would also like to thank DUT Durban because they have been a very good competitor from the start, we started off this tournament playing them and it’s good to come up with a win,” said Langalethu Mbhele, Panthers captain.