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SA win in Morocco
- Updated: October 13, 2011
London is getting closer and closer after Team South Africa swept into the final of the African Paralympic qualifiers in Rabat, Morocco on Wednesday night, comprehensively beating Nigeria 72-34 in their last round robin game.
The team now head into the final against hosts Morocco unbeaten, having won all three of their games to determine who will take the sole qualifying spot for the Paralympics in London 2012.
The South Africans were in control throughout, surging ahead to 25-12 after the first quarter and then widening the gap to go into half time 45-17 up. In the third quarter they consolidated their lead, with 66-23 before closing the game out.
Coach Patrick Fick was once again overjoyed with the victory, especially as it puts them into the final unbeaten, and laid the praise for the clinical performance at his assistant coach Shadrack Mopoeng, who took charge of the team for the game.
ÔÇ£Shadrack was head coach today, and we use these opportunities to get the better of our coaches. He ran a few different plays and it worked well. He did a fantastic job and the result speaks for itself,ÔÇØ┬á Fick said.
The team also rested stalwarts Richard Nortje and Marius Papenfus for the final, which gave others like Jaco Velloen and Cecil Dumond an opportunity to get some court time ahead of the final.
The team also celebrated two more milestones as Justin Govender and Thandile Zonke both earned their 100th caps for the team in the victory.
While South Africa have the confidence going into the final, they know they will need to be at their best against Morocco if they are to achieve their goal of qualifying for London 2012.
ÔÇ£It is going to be a challenge,ÔÇØ Fick declared, ÔÇ£It is a one-off game and anything can happen, so we will need to go in focused. But while it is a huge challenge, we are quietly confident.ÔÇØ
South Africa beat Egypt 63-62 in a nail-biting encounter on Monday, and followed it up with a powerhouse performance to beat Morocco 68-54 on Tuesday.
The final will take place on Thursday evening 7pm SA time, with the winner qualifying for the Paralympics 2012.
The Paralympic Team are proudly partnered by Mercedes Benz, Nedbank, National Lottery, Pick n Pay, Sasol, Sun International, Telkom, the Department of Sport and Recreation and Vodacom.