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UJ Orange Wave crowned USSA Basketball 3×3 champions in Makhanda, Eastern Cape

The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Senior Men’s Basketball 3×3 Team continued their 5×5 winning momentum from this year’s great University Sport South Africa (USSA) performances in Durban at the Basketball 3×3 Championship in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. Popularly known as the Orange Wave, the 4-player team won all their six games to clinch the USSA Basketball 3×3 gold medal and trophy with spirited performances from start to finish.

UJ Senior Men’s Basketball 3×3 Team – Nino Dim, Coach Mandla Ngema, Sbongakonke Mkhwanazi, Rabbi Belolo, and Peace Famodimu

Their female counterparts, the UJ Galaxy, carried the same energy on court, finishing in second position after narrowly losing the final to the University of Pretoria by 4 points in the final, 18-14 scoreline . The UJ Galaxy won four of their six matches, starting with Walter Sisulu University (21-07), then University of Limpopo (21-04), and Rhodes University (21-12). The Galaxy lost twice to UP-Tuks with a 13-14 in the group stage and 18-14 in the final.

On the other hand, the UJ Orange Wave aimed to rectify their 2022 mistakes after they lost to Stellenbosch in the final. This year, captain Nino Dim’s escapades together with fellow teammates Peace Famodimu, Rabbi Belolo, and Sbongakonke Mkhwanazi gave UJ the edge in winning the championship over the other universities that competed in the championship.

The Orange Wave opened their first match with a 19-11 win over UL, followed by a 21-14 over UP-Tuks, 22-09 against WSU, 21-14 over hosts Rhodes University, 21-07 against UL in the semifinal and 19-09 over Rhodes in the final.

“We came here to make a statement from the first day. I’m proud of the guys – they showed confidence in their performances. Thanks to the fans and the UJ teams for the support. I’m also proud of the UJ Galaxy to reach the final, they did their best to win a silver medal,” said Dim.

From Left – Nino Dim, Nyelethi Nyathi and Rabbi Belolo win best individual awards in the 2023 USSA Basketball 3×3 Championship in EC

Vice-Captain Belolo echoed captain Dim’s sentiments, “We won in the winter USSA championship in Durban and now in the summer here in the Eastern Cape. UJ is really dominating and it’s beautiful to have such consistency.”

“It’s sad that it’s my last tournament, it was a really emotional day, but I really enjoy the tournament. I learned a lot from this competition and I hope the girls win gold next year,” said the UJ Galaxy captain Olwethu Khanyile.

From the tournament performances, the UJ players also won valuable accolades including the Finals and Tournament Most Valuable Player Male awards given to Dim, All Star Male award presented to Belolo, and Ladies All Star Award given to UJ Galaxy’s Nyelethi Nyathi.

The UJ Galaxy comprised four players; Khanyile, Nyelethi Nyathi, Kgalalelo Matlawe, and Anamaree Molatelo.

The team was under the supervision of Head Coach Mandla Ngema, Manager Elize le Roux and Physiotherapist Koena Thabang Temo.

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