The local derby weekend saw wheelchair basketball games being played in the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth (hosted by the DHL Flyers), KZN, Pietermaritzburg (hosted by the Visa Wings) and in the North West, Orkney (hosted by Matlosana AGA Lions).
The game of the weekend was the Visa Wings against the Ricoh Pumas where the Wings clawed their way back into the game after being down in the first quarter by 15 points.
As the buzzer sounded for the half, Wings were one point behind the Pumas and by the fourth quarter the Pumas woes continued and yet again, could not sustain the pressure losing the game by four and forcing a do or die play-off with the Transnet Saints to maintain a Top Five finish at the end of the month. Their saving grace was scoring 69 points in the 73-69 defeat that gave them a bonus point to level them on the log table with Saints.
The rest of the weekend result’s were par for the course where DHL Flyers played against Blades and Eagles over the weekend. The Eagles struggled to make a game of it on Sunday but a healthy first quarter lead kept them in the running to take the game 58-42 at the final whistle.
Saints again rose to the occasion and forced Eagles into reality with a first quarter 10-11 point spread. But Grant Waites impressive personal tally of 27 points killed the Saints spirit as he single headedly dominated the box with rebounds and goal scoring. Leon Fleiser & Marcus Retief’s pin point passing was the final nail in the coffin for Saints captain Ralph Williams whose 16 points was not enough for a fight back.
The Matlosana AGA Lions hosted the Allpay Wildcats in Orkney and dominated the young pups, taking a bonus point and securing their position as real contenders for the finals as they finished the game scoring 86 to 45 points.
The Bladerunners remained top of the log with a comfortable win over the Flyers taking the game 66-37 with Stuart Jellows topping the score with an impressive 24 points.
The Flyers and Wildcat will finish off their campaign at the end of the month as they face relegation and the Saints and Pumas face off to determine the third team to cut from the Top 5.
Pumas David Curle and Jaco Velloen should be back from their overseas clubs and this may be the determining factor against the Saints who lack height. If Saints William Ruba and Ralph Williams are on form, this game could be decisive for both teams’ future.