The University of Johannesburg are banking on months’ of preparation to prove themselves in the inaugural Varsity Basketball tournament, starting at Wits on Friday.
UJ basketball manager Anton van Rooyen said the hard work would hopefully bear fruit in the event to be played in Johannesburg over successive weekends.
“We have done a lot of gym work to ensure we are able to adapt to the strenuous demands of playing a number of matches in a concentrated period.”
Basing their strength on their fitness, speed and power, Van Rooyen said teamwork would be crucial to their objective of finishing in the top four.
“All our players are important to our cause and we believe that even if the team does change slightly, the intensity will stay the same.”
Van Rooyen said if they could finish in the top four after the round-robin phase, they would just take it game by game.
“We have always been in the top three sides in university tournaments and we want to push on from there.
“Wits and Vaal University of Technology are usually the main contenders for the varsity titles, but we are looking forward to challenging them this time.”
The teams to battle it out for the Varsity Basketball trophy will be University of KwaZulu-Natal, UJ, University of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela University, Tshwane University of Technology, University of Pretoria, VUT and Wits.
The tournament will feature an innovative power play, where, for two minutes, every point scored will count double.