Walala Wasala!!!

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One thing that could be made of BNL’s decision to amend its rules going into the elimination rounds of BNL 2013 is that when “you snooze; you lose” especially as we all know, there is no sleeping on a bicycle.

We are witnessing amazing happenings as gladiators rise against each other in the penultimate rounds of the BNL 2013. Some teams are consolidating their position as top contenders whilst others are creating upsets and uncertainty, and reaffirming the obvious that they are not pushovers.

First of all, we saw the introduction of ‘12 minutes a quarter 6 personal fouls’ rule, which means that the games last a total of 48 minutes; 8 minutes longer than it was in the regular season. The implication of the above is that the BNL teams must strive to last longer on the court.

Let us examine some of the dominant factors that could be the difference between success and failure this post regular season:

Conditioning – One factor that will play a big role in the elimination round is the level of conditioning of these teams. This is when player’s fitness, endurance and athletism come to play. Of course, some teams have just been formed a couple of months back, as such, we cannot really rely on the limited amount of team training for proper conditioning. It is important then to turn to individual player’s workout routine. Players must get themselves fit and conditioned for the game. Playing 48 minutes on the poorly ventilated Wembley indoor court will surely take its toll on any player on any given day.

Depth – Nothing gives a coach a peace of mind than the assurance that you can call on players from the bench who can step up and give a good account of themselves, if not even putting up a better performance than a starter, (As in the case of Mbombela Wildcats) It is imperative, more than ever that coaches look deeper into their reserves and come up with a sound and effective 2nd unit. Now is the time for those “role players” to do their thing as coaches cannot afford to run only 6/7 players on the court for 48 minutes (even LeBron James takes a breather) But just how deep are these BNL teams? That is a topic for another forum. However, we look forward to seeing more and more players coming off the bench and contributing to the overall goal of the team.

Players / Coaches Attitude – We witnessed what could be said to be an argument on Egoli Magic’s bench on Friday night. Subsequently, a player who was heading to the scorer’s table to check into the game was recalled, and made to sit through the remainder of the game. Although one can argue that this little incident may have had an adverse effect on the outcome of the match, but that is for the team to deal and live with. Nevertheless, as a fan of the game, such can be seen as a deliberate plot to sabotage and undermine the integrity of the game. The fans want to see the best players that the league has to offer in action. Initiating a fracas that eventually put a star player on the bench is not acceptable. The game is not a one-man-show, but rather, a collective effort by all and sundry. Let us act in a responsible and professional manner. Although this article is not an expository on Egoli Magic basketball club, but one cannot help but ask the pertinent question, whose team is it anyway?

One thing for sure though, the extra 8 minutes of play is a delight to the hundreds excited fans who troop to the stadium in large numbers to support, especially with the high level of intensity and superb performances displayed by the teams. The players must make no mistake and not be confused by the 12 minutes a quarter and 6 personal fouls rule. It is the elimination stage and anything can happen. Sleep and lose, lose and go home.  That’s the way it is! It’s the way the cookie crumbles! It’s just that simple! Walala Wasala!!!

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