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Tough lessons for SA
- Updated: February 13, 2011
The Sasol South Africa Wheelchair Basketball team suffered a heart-breaking 53-49 loss to hosts Belgium on Saturday on the second day of the seventh Valentine Basketball Tournament being played in Blankenberge, Belgium.
It was perhaps the first quarter which cost South Africa as they trailed Belgium 18-10, but in the second quarter they narrowed the gap to six points with Belgium 31-25 ahead.
“It was a much better second half,” conceded coach Patrick Fick. “We went back to our man-to-man play, which was something we lost because of the level of opposition we faced.”
This is the first of five international tournaments South Africa will compete in as part of their preparations for the 2012 London Paralympics.
Earlier, it was a tough lesson for South Africa as they went down 79-36 to rampant Holland.
“We were not taking care of the ball,” lamented Fick, “and they pressed us right from the start.
They pressed so hard that South Africa only scored its first basket in the second quarter after Holland ran up a 22-3 lead.
At halftime, Holland had raced to a 43-13 lead, and it was even tougher to stomach for South Africa after the third quarter as the gap grew to 71-31.
It was a much improved final quarter, with Holland scoring just eight points to South Africa’s five.
“We were too rushed and we were making bad decisions,” said Fick.