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Coach Belen happy with improvement at Green vs Gold clash
- Updated: July 14, 2015
Sasol South African senior men’s wheelchair basketball team head coach Franck Belen had reason to smile over the progress made by his players, following the first of four Green vs Gold squad matches played at Mandeville on Saturday.
The Green team had a brisk start to the match, with Rakgetsing Molete making his presence felt on the scoring front, with his team in a 15-14 lead by the end of the first quarter.
A first for the Green vs Gold series was that both teams included female players in Kate Swanepoel and Nontsindiso Zungu (both Green team) and Kelebogile Moeng and Dineo Mosime (Gold team). With the Green team battling with their shooting in the second quarter, the Gold team took a 32-24 lead by halftime in the match.
The Sasol Gold team proved to be the stronger team in the third quarter as the dominated the match. For the Green team, Luvuyo Mbanba and Cecil Dumond did their best to keep their side in the game. The Gold team’s Gift Mooketsi, Simanga Mbhele, Jack Mokgosi and Kyle Louw were the main scorers in the match putting their side in the lead by 50-36.
The Gold team eventually ran out 69-49 winners, but it was the improvement in the players, more than the score-line that impressed the coach.
‘There is great excitement in the Sasol Amawheelaboys squad as all of the players are pushing to be a part of the team of 12 that will compete in the Sasol All Star Series against New Zealand at Mandeville from 28 August to September 5, and at the IWBF African Qualifiers in Algeria from 31 October to 7 November,’ said national team coach Belen.
The nation that wins the African qualifiers will represent the continent at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
There is such a hunger to play international level wheelchair basketball that I won’t be surprised if a new face or two end up in the team of 12,’ added Belen.
The next Green vs Gold match will take place at Mandeville on Saturday, 8 August (2pm start).
Picture of the weekend’s match courtesy of Abbey Sebetha/Bakonepix