Sasol Amawheelagirls outplayed by Algeria in African Qualifiers Final

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Qualification for the 2016 Rio Paralympics was one match too far away for the Sasol-sponsored South African Senior Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, who went down 60-47 to Algeria in the showpiece final of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation’s Africa Qualifiers, in Algiers, Algeria on Saturday, 7 November 2015.

Playing in front of a large, chanting crowd at the Nadi Basketball Stadium, the Sasol Amawheelagirls showed commitment to fight their way back from a first quarter deficit of 19-7, to have a chance of victory with the score at 29-25 down at half-time.

While Misqah Kamaldien and Kelebogile Moeng were again key players in most of the Sasol Amawheelagirls defence-turned-to-attack movements, the third quarter Algerian onslaught which totalled 18 points to the12 of the South Africans, made the final quarter task to be the toughest challenge for the visiting team.

Sasol Amawheelaboys head coach Franck Belen, who assisted the regular national women’s team head coach Willie Mulder, must receive credit for offering his time and expertise, which played an important role in getting the national women’s team to the final.

His defensive patterns, actioned by the players, proved to be a major headache for the Algerians, but the speed of the Algerians coupled with their accurate shooting, proved to be the downfall of the Sasol Amawheelagirls.

“I must commend the Sasol Amawheelagirls on making the final in their first appearance at the African Qualifiers,” said Belen afterwards.

“Playing Algeria in Algeria is quite different from playing matches in South Africa, and the experience that they obtained this week will help them as a team. Like the men’s side, they need to play as many international matches as possible to gain the experience needed to be a consistent force on the international scene.”

Earlier, Belen had mentored his Sasol Amawheelaboys team to the bronze medal in the men’s competition, as they saw off the challenge of Egypt 77-65.

Duduzile Ntombiyenko

Misqah Kamaldien

 

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