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Third basketball loss
- Updated: August 29, 2011
The Sasol South African wheelchair basketball team suffered a third consecutive defeat when they were beaten 65-42 by Belgium in the last match of their European Tour in Dunkerque, France, on Sunday.
It was the final match of their week long tour where they played France once and Belgium twice. The SA team lost to Belgium on Thursday 83-68 and to France 86-63 on Friday, reports Sapa.
The South African team had an improved start to the match, after falling well behind in the first quarter of the opening two matches, as they held the Belgians in check and trailed 17-10 after 10 minutes.
The second quarter was South Africa’s best as they outscored Belgium by 13 points to 12 through efforts by Gift Mooketsi , Bobby Govender and Nortje. Belgium went into the second half with a 29-23 lead.
At one stage in the third period the SA team had closed the gap to four points, but by the end of the period, Belgium were leading 42-33. In the final quarter Belgium extended the gap as they ran out 65-42 winners.
South African player Kobus Oeschger was dissapointed with his team’s performance.
“Frustration is big amongst the players,” said Oeschger, “especially the more experienced players. We know we are on the same level as these guys, we know we can beat them but at the moment it is difficult. We are playing up and down, if we can just get through that and start playing more consistently, we can be up there with the best,” he explained.
The squad will now look to the Paralympic Qualification Tournament in Morocco in October.
The tournament is expected to be staged in Rabat, Morocco from 8-15 October.
Hosts Morocco, Egypt , Algeria and South Africa are among the main contenders for the one spot Africa has been allocated at the Paralympic Games in London next year.