The national men’s wheelchair basketball team overcame a tough challenge from a physical Eqypt side, to win their second match 80-64 at the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation’s African Qualifiers, in Algiers, Algeria on Monday.
In a drama-filled match which saw the Eqyptian head coach escorted out of the venue after being dismissed from courtside following a verbal altercation with match officials, the match will also be remembered for another super haul of points scored by Sasol Amawheelaboys player Richard Nortje.
Nortje himself will remember the game for the amount of time he spent hauling his way back into his chair from the court surface, after being manhandled out of his wheelchair on several occasions, a tactic most teams are carrying out against SA.
The Amawheelaboys were 20-13 ahead after the first quarter before their shooting let them down, to see the Egyptians domainate the second quarter and share the game at 32-all at half-time.
In the third quarter, it was the Eqyptians who battled to convert attacking options into points and the South Africans regained their rhythm to lead 57-48 and go on to clinch the fixture.
‘We knew the match against Egypt would be one of the toughest tasks of the week, but the players showed great character to get the win and it’s a step forward towards a possible semi-final place,’ said head coach Franck Belen afterwards.
On Tuesday, the team face another tough test when they take on Morocco at the Staouli Basketball Stadium at 3.30pm SA time and the Sasol Amawheelagirls also open their campaign, with a 5.45pm start against hosts Algeria.
Picture of Rakgetsing Molete and Egyptian player Samy Sabaawy courtesy of Abbey Sebetha/Bakonepix