Week 7 Brought More Thrills and Group Phase Intensifies

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Week 7 of the Basketball National League fixtures saw more entertaining action taking place at the Mandeville indoor arena in Johannesburg. There was a total of five games played throughout the weekend, as teams continued the quest to challenge for both the men’s and women’s BNL titles for 2023.

Saturday saw two games taking place with the Women’s game commencing first, where the Soweto Panthers once again showed their prowess to defeat the Zebras 76-50. Siphiwe Chitlango of the Panthers was the standout performer claiming the Fila MVP in the game, with 19 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. While the second clash of the day saw the Marlins men’s team power to a mammoth 104-57 win over the Zebras. Bandile Nsele of the Marlins made it back-to-back weekend MVP titles, with his 17-point contribution, along 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. 

Sunday saw performances of a higher individual caliber, where the Marlins men’s team went down 77-72 against the Suns. Emmanuel Shine’s performance shone "bright" as he contributed 21 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals. A women's division match then took to the floor in an end-to-end battle that saw the Rhinos edge past the Suns [in their firs ever win against the Suns Women] 43-37. Rachel Ngona of the Rhinos put in a shift to put in 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 steals taking home the Fila MVP award in the game. The weekend concluded with the Cape Town Tigers men’s team sweeping past Magic 76-46. Sita Conteh of the Tigers pounced on the MVP award making 21 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. 

Sita Conteh [Game# 30 MVP]

At the conclusion of the week 7 BNL fixture, it’s the Panthers that lead in the women’s Group A, while the Mountaineers remain the only unbeaten team so far in the group with their 2-0 record. Group B sees Magic sit at the top with their unblemished record, while the Marlins are just a point adrift. 

The men’s standings see group A being led by the Suns after their perfect [3-0] start, while the Marlins and the Panthers remain in touching distance. Group B sees Pride maintain top spot despite having played more games already. The Mountaineers remain close in second position with a game in hand. 

Be sure to catch more BNL action live over the weekend at the Mandeville indoor arena.

By S’fiso Nyawo

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