Basketballers take heart | SASCOC - SASCOC

Basketballers take heart

They may have lost all four games, but Team Sasol South Africa finished their Easter Tournament in Blankenberge, Belgium on a high note, on Saturday going down 76-51 to Italy in their final game.

While the team lost all four their games at the tournament, they were particularly competitive in the final game against a team that was ranked fourth in the last World Championships and who were expected to win easily.

Team Sasol South Africa welcomed back star player Richard Nortje for the game and put everything into the match, trailing 19-12 after the first quarter and 37-22 at half-time.

Once again it was a tough third quarter that felled them, as they fell behind 61-35 but they finished strongly, outscoring their fancied opponents 16-15 in the final quarter to end the tournament on a positive note.

The team, who came through a tough week of preparation and played four games in two days after being dormant since their win in the African Qualifying Championship in October last year, were using the tournament as part of their build-up to the London Paralympics later this year.

ÔÇ£We did miss a bit in the third quarter and I guess that’s a bit of a loss of concentration that we will have to work on. But we were a lot better than in the previous games, the guys were a lot more relaxed and were playing for each other and doing what they are used to,ÔÇØ said Fick.

Nortje led from the front again, but it was a real team effort as the team definitely improved from the form they showed when they arrived in Belgium.

ÔÇ£The team definitely gained a lot of experience here, and it’s good for the guys to continue to play at that level,ÔÇØ Fick added.

In Saturday’s earlier game South Africa had gone down 73-26 to world champions Australia.

Team SASOL South Africa will head home Sunday before they face Egypt in a camp at the end of April as the next step in their preparations for London 2012.