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SA ladies qualify for African Championship 2009

By on March 17, 2009 in News

Preparing to face Zimbabwe in their own backyard from 6 – 9 March 2009

Our preparation for this qualifier was no different than any of the previous national teams that have been through this before. We had a four day camp in February, and our five day camp prior to departing in March. What was and is different is the quiet determination shown by each player. Being the first time with the Ladies team, it was a surprise to hear that Zimbabwe is our “bogey” team. No disrespect intended to our previous National teams and coaches, that was more ignorance on my part, being involved with the junior boys, one tended to focus more on the male basketball.

With a bit of research, and shared information from previous coaches, it soon became clear that qualifying is not as straight forward as expected, even though Basketball in South Africa would really be boosted by the achievement. Zimbabwe are traditionally strong rebounders, up tempo physical players. So we used the opportunities provided to prepare as best we could.

Relief as girls make it

Again, this teams strongest attribute, is the desire and determination shown by the players to play their part in improving Basketball, and in particular, Ladies Basketball in South Africa. The scoreline in game 1 is every reflection of how tough a 44 – 45 victory could be. Having gone through that battle, we were still none the better off, because we could lose game 2 by 2 or more points and not qualify. What was satisfying was that we matched Zimbabwe in the rebounding statistic (46 – 47). Game 2 was exactly the emotional rollercoaster that a 49 – 48 victory could be. We were trailing by 2 points with 1min 15sec to go. Even though they had an advantage of 10 more rebounds than we did, we managed to hang on and fight back. That, if nothing else, illustrates the resolve of this group of ladies. To win two one point games in Zimbabwe’s backyard really develops the teams character and personality. We now know that we are not really going to blow any opposition away, each victory will be as hard fought as the previous one.

Strength as a team 

Having shared such an intense experience with a great management and medical team, as well as our Head of Delegation Doc Ralethe, there now is an optimism that we could go to Madagascar and for the first time in many years have our Ladies team ranked in the top 6 or 7 in Africa. Again, that sounds easy enough, but it would take some doing to achieve.

On behalf of the Ladies team, a very big thank you to everyone for the good wishes and for taking such pride in our achievement, and as we prepare for our next step, the South African Ladies team is committed to improving the status and image of Ladies Basketball in South Africa, Zone 6 and Africa. 

Craig Daniels – Head Coach

Brenda Mutungutungu – Ass Coach

Sebotso Moruthane – Manager 

Article by Craig Daniels edited by Victor Shakineza

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. baller says:

    congrats to the coaching staff and players. there are many more wins to come in madagascar.

  2. Joe says:

    As much as I questioned the background to the qualification, I want to congratulate Coach Craig and the team for this great achievment. Is it possible to get the player stats for the games?

  3. Molupe says:

    I love this article for a number of reasons. Firstly words like “desire and determination”, “resolve”, “research”, “shared information” etc are the types of words I like to hear about a national team. Secondly, there is some technical discussion about the opposition and a little about the game, although as Joe implies it would be nice to know even more. Finally I like the target set. The management team are not afraid to put out a target and work their hardest towards it. Love that attitude! Craig and Victor, great article. Hopefully the next follow up article will tell us even more.

  4. kim says:

    May you guys continue to work hard to ensure that unity and determination grows.May your wins multiple but most importantly may you continue making LADIES basketball a PRIORITY.