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WBSA: French National tour round up

By on November 14, 2010 in Other Leagues

Game 2:

French Turn the tables on SASOL SA squad

JOHANNESBURG, 30 October 2010 – Just 24 hours after the Sasol SA squad drew first blood in the three-game French Internal Tour, the world’s number two ranked team thwarted the home side’s bid to make it two in a row on Saturday.

France made good on their promise to play more aggressively and sink more goals and their 64-50 victory at the Mandeville Indoor Stadium in Johannesburg has set up an intense battle for Sunday’s final game.

Former national captain Marius Papenfus celebrated his 100th cap with five rebounds and the team’s only three-pointer. Luvuyo Mbanda matched his 12-point contribution while the South African defence limited the French double-digit scorers to two.

Nicolas Jouanserre delivered another brilliant performance, leading the French scoring with 27 points and nine rebounds, and skipper David Levrat added 14.

“The French team did a good job. They imposed a lot of pressure on us,” said captain Marcus Retief.

The skipper was disappointed with the result but satisfied with the progress the team has made their Tour to Belgium. He feels that the team can play even better.

“I feel there is still so much more the team can do,” he said. “We only shot at 35%, so we certainly need to improve on our scoring.

“But our combinations are starting to work really well and that’s a move in the right direction.”

National coach Patrick Fick echoed his captain’s sentiments.

“There are definitely aspects where we can improve, including scoring and defence, but I am very happy with the team’s progress,” he said and added that the focus of this test has been on developing the team for the 2012 Paralympic Qualifier, a target they are certainly achieving.

“We did take a bit of a beating in the second game but it was also good to give the rookies court time and test combinations will all the members of the squad.”

The French needed just two quarters to establish their dominance in the game.They came out fast and furious but the home team reacted well with a full court press that allowed France just a one-point margin at 16-17 at the end of the first quarter.

The visitors intensified their speed and aggression in the second quarter to pull five clear on 35-30 at half time, but the South Africans retaliated well again and trailed by just six points at 41-47 going into the home stretch.

In the final quarter, France upped their man defence again and limited the South Africans to just nine points while they found the home side’s hoop 10 times for 17 points to seal their victory.

French coach Frank Belen punched the air in delight, was finally a happy man.

“Yesterday we lost the first game because we missed 30 shots at goal,” he said. “We knew that couldn’t happen again today, because we play to win only.

“The South African’s fought with a big heart, but today we scored the goals. Still, the scoring difference is just 15 points and that is still too close for this team.

“The final game is going to be a great battle.”

The Sasol SA squad will have a chance to redeem themselves when they play France in the final game at 14h00 on Sunday.


12 Marius Papenfus; Luvuyo Mbanda

10 Sipho Gumbi

8 Jaco Velloen

5 Thandile Zonke

Game 3

Late surge seals SASOL test for France

JOHANNESBURG, 31 October 2010 – The French team proved exactly why they are the number two ranked team in the world when they launched a determined final quarter surge to prevail over the Sasol South Africa squad and wrap up the Sasol French Internal Wheelchair Basketball Tour with a 2-1 victory.

The two sides started the final game at Mandeville Indoor Stadium on Sunday with one win apiece.

The Sasol SA team won the first game 72-66 on Friday and the French levelled the score with 64-50 victory in the second game on Saturday.

In an extremely physical contest, the sides were evenly matched until half time, but then the French team side began piling on the pressure to hand the home side a 57-48 drumming.

“We were well and truly beaten in the second half, but all in all, I am still satisfied with how the team performed,” said national coach Patrick Fick. “In the first two quarters we really showed that we can compete and we just have to learn to extend that kind of performance for the whole match.”

The national side led 51-14 after the first quarter but matters swung the way of France in the second and they lead 26-25 at half time.

South Africa began the third quarter poorly and could only score five points against the French, who rallied with 17 points.

The final quarter was a particularly scrappy and physical one and the South Africans began chipping away at the deficit. “We managed to score 17 points in the final quarter, but it was a case of too little, too late,” said the national coach. “They were able to really pile on the pressure and keep us from closing the door further.”

South Africa scored 17 points in the final quarter but France countered with 14 to stay ahead. The French on the other hand were consistently finding the bottom of the basket, with the industrious Nicolas Jouanserre at the forefront of the visitors’ attacks. The number 10 scored 22 of France’s points, four from the free-throw line and two three-pointers.

“That is the kind of performance we lacked,” said Fick. “While we executed the full court press well, we fell way short in the goal area.”

Marius Papenfus and Jaco Velloen kept the locals in the Test with 10 points each but both were shooting way below par with Papenfus at 26% and Velloen at 33%. Thandile Zonke and Luvuyo Mbande also battled to find their range.

Former national player Kobus Oeschger added nine valuable points on his comeback, including a perfectly executed three-pointer well outside the key.

National captain Marcus Retief was disappointed not to have led the team to victory, but rather than dwell on the team’s shortcomings, he chose to focus on the positive aspects of the test. “We know exactly what and where we need to improve, but it is important to acknowledge the improvement the team has made,” he said.

“Winning one of the three games was an important result for us. Furthermore, we hoped to learn a lot from this Test and that has certainly been the case. “We have the confidence now that we can hold our own in an aggressive, physical game, we know we have a very good defensive game and we know we need to work hard at improving our offensive game.

“All in all, I am proud of what the team has achieved and I know we can do a lot better.


10 Marius Papenfus; Jaco Velloen

9 Kobus Oeschger; Thandile Zonke

7 Luvuyo Mbanda


Game 1: Sasol SA 72 – France 66

Game 2: Sasol SA 50 – France 64

Game 3: Sasol SA 48 – France 57

Information provided by Charles Saunders and edited by Victor Shakineza

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