February 24, 2024

A dream come true for Ngubane as Proteas bounce back

CAPE TOWN  An emotional affair for the Spar Proteas players after goal shooter Owethu Ngubane made her first appearance for South Africa in the 2023 Netball World Cup.

The home side was on swan song today at the main court as they cruised past Trinidad & Tobago, defeating the Caribbean side 69-28 after a heartbreak against Jamaica on Sunday.

Ngubane was called out on Monday morning following a withdrawal from the Proteas’ stalwart Lenize Potgieter due to injury.

The 21-year-old Gqeberha born, came on as a substitute in the last few minutes as supporters stood up cheering for her.

“I feel speechless and do not know what to say right now, I am so emotional – representing South Africa in the world cup at home is massive,” said Ngubane.

“Being part of the team, being part of the people that I have looked up to – being part of one big family it’s quite exciting – when I got the call up this morning I was happy and shocked as well.

“We have been preparing very well as a team, everyone was putting in so much work and energy. It was high intensity training we had been preparing for this match.”

She believes the match was not hard, she says the team stuck to their plans.

Ngubane has also explained how she will be handling the pressure going forward.

“It was not that hard, watching from outside and even playing those last few minutes,” she said.

“I just need to focus till the end and stick to my game plan, just get to court and execute well, those are things I will be following.

“I need to be calm and get used to the noise like this, it’s my first time playing in front of a crowd like this. I need to shut the noise and focus on the game.”

Ngubane became the latest University of Johannesburg (UJ) youngster to make her first appearance for the Proteas in the 2023 Netball Quad Series in January this year.

She made her debut against Australia.

Ngubane added: “I was happy when I was called this morning, Lenize is someone I look up to so much and I am a huge fan but when I was told I am needed I was so much happy because it was time,” she said.

“The coach gave me a chance to showcase my talent, I can’t explain the feeling.”

South Africa will face New Zealand on Wednesday at 18:00.

Image: Netball World Cup / Ashley Vlotman

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