Wheelchair basketballers go down to Games champs | SASCOC - SASCOC

Wheelchair basketballers go down to Games champs

Coach Patrick Fick always said that our wheelchair basketballers would be up against it from the start and how right he was, writes Mark Etheridge from London.

Our Amawheelaboyz qualified in Morocco late last year but their reward was a real group of death and they are the lowest ranked team at the 2012 Paralympics.

And their opening Group A fixture couldn’t have been tougher as they took on World and Olympic champions Australia on Thursday night.

They went down 93-39 and yes it was a hiding but no, it was not a disgrace.

They were simply beaten by a consumnate side, comfortable in their own ability.

A surprisingly small crowd of just over 2000 saw the South Africans hold their own for the first quarter, trailing 16-27. It was the second quarter that did the damage as the Aussie went into halftime 47-20 ahead, having outscored captain Marcus Retief’s men 20-4 in the second quarter.

The third quarter saw a 16-point difference and the last had an 11-point margin.

Top scorer for South Africa was Richard Nortje with 14, while Siphamandla Gumbi and Marius Papenfus weighed in with eight apiece.

It doesn’t get any easier as South Africa now play Spain on Friday but the boys will be hoping to catch the Europeans off guard in what may well amount to one of the few chances to score points in this competition.