The Limpopo Baobabs attained a second victory in the 2017 Brutal Fruit Premier League currently underway when they beat Northern Cape Diamonds 54-20 in Durban on Sunday.
The Baobabs, who finished last in the 2016 season are clearly a vastly improved team under Coach Dumisani Chauke whose first national campaign with the team has seen them beat Mpumalanga Sunbirds 47-37, draw against Kingdom Stars and overwhelmed the Northern Cape Diamonds 54-20 on Sunday.
The team has thus far in the tournament displayed a renewed determination and spirit as was demonstrated by the shooters’ accuracy and their outstanding defence.
Goal defender, Lentsomang Motau had an outstanding game and was named Player of the Match. The circle defence made life very difficult for the Diamonds’ shooters, who missed many attempts at goal.
Chauke, a former Spar Netball Proteas player and a coach at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth was delighted with the way her team bounced back from their draw against The Kingdom Stars on Saturday. “That match was draining, mentally as well as physically, so I am so proud of the girls that they could come back like that. We are by no means perfect and we could have achieved more turnovers but I am a happy coach today,” Chauke said on Sunday.
Asked if they will go all the way to win the League, the Malamulele born mentor who is also the newly elected Vice-Chairperson of University Sports South Africa (Ussa) Netball said it will take them few years to win the league. “We just want to improve on our rankings. We have made a commitment to the game. We told our players that we just have to be clinical and disciplined in every match. We have also gone back to the basics of the match and we will take one game at the time,” Chauke said.
Sport, Arts and Culture MEC Onnica Moloi congratulated the team for their amazing run in the league and wished good luck in their next matches.
“The team’s performance shows that there is unity and determination from the new team. We are going to mobilise fans from the province to support them in the semi-finals,” Moloi said.
The tournament moves from Durban to Cape Town for the next three weekends, after which it moves to Bloemfontein.
Story: Herbert Rachuene