CT Hurricanes Winelands Challenge Champs

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Cape Town Hurricanes Basketball Club were crowned Champs of the Cape Winelands Basketball Development Challenge which was held on Sunday 11 December 2016. The competition was organised by WC Basketball in conjunction with the Cape Winelands Basketball Association with the purpose of the assisting the development of basketball in the Winelands district by exposing its teams to teams from the stronger Cape Town district.

This initiative was part of the broader strategy by WC Basketball to ensure that basketball is played in other Districts in the Province besides the Cape Town district and that the playing standard are similar throughout the Province. It is for this purpose that the Cape Town Hurricanes were selected to take part in this first installment as they are the 2016 Champs of the highly competitive Cape Town Basketball League Men 1 Division.

Played in the Mbekweni Sport Fields basketball courts the games were physically challenging for the players due to the sweltering heat typical of the Winelands area. The three team round robin format ensured that each team played two games which was ideal for a good experience for the players but not too taxing. In the first game Worcester Knights played against the Hurricanes. The inclusion of Francis Marais, provincial team player, and a new recruit ensured that Knights competed admirably. However the experience and depth of Hurricanes proved too much in the end.

In the second game the Knights took on the Paarl Hawks in a Winelands inter-municipality rivalry. The Hawks struggled to contain the warmed-up Knights despite a valiant effort from the short bench. Knights won convincingly to have the Winelands bragging rights. The last game was between the highly motivated Hawks and the rested Hurricanes. In light of the earlier games and their rest Hurricanes were favored to win easily. However their unfamiliarity with the Winelands heat seemed to have have taken its toll and the Hawks were in the lead in the final minutes of the game. Hurricanes though refused to loose and used a full court man to man defense to turn the game on its head and win by a very slight margin.

Although Hurricanes won the Challenge the Winelands teams demonstrated the potential of the Cape Winelands district. The Challenge further emphasized the need for Cape Winelands Basketball Association and WC Basketball to improved the Cape Winelands League. It also highlighted the need to have periodic Provincial Inter-District competitions. The teams echoed this sentiments and Mr Aggrey Ofula, Acting President, committed that WC Basketball will organise more of these from 2017 onward.