Fortune favours the brave! Ask the Sasol SA national senior mens wheelchair basketball team who showed courage and determination to see off Morocco B 54-34 and book a place in the semi-finals of the 2nd Agadir International Tournament in Morocco on Thursday evening.
The South Africans will now face Africas No1 side Algeria in the semi-final after the North African side thrashed Senegal 102-35 in their quarter-final match earlier in the day. The other semi-final will be contested between Iraq and Morocco A.
The South African team were in high spirits going into the match, with their pre-game hand clapping and signing of the proudly South African Tshotsholoza song putting them in the right frame of mind for a tough encounter.
But early missed shooting opportunities saw Cecil Dumonds men hold a slender 12-8 lead at the break, and 23-22 ahead at the halfway stage.
Whatever national team coach Franck Belen said at the halftime break had the desired effect, as the South Africans produced new found energy to produce a crushing third quarter of 17-6 to pave the way to victory.
I am proud of the Sasol South African team as they are a very young unit and I can see the improvement throughout the week of this tournament, said Belen. Defensively, we are just getting better and better and it will be interesting to see how our players cope with the attacking skills of Africas No 1 team Algeria, in the semi-final.
While players like Mpho Gift Mooketsi and Kyle Louw and Jaco van Niekerk, were among those who worked non-stop to claim ball possession off the Moroccan raiders, 16-year-old Steve Wilgenbach, also deserves praise for producing his best performance of the week.
Back at the team hotel, Wilgenbach, who is in Grade 10 at Crawford College in Tshwane, has been the envy of many opposing team players and coaches, with his ability to complete the world famous Rubik Cube toy 30 times a day in less than 30 seconds each time.
The South Africans will face the Algerians in their semi-final showdown on Friday.