USA bests Amawheelies

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Sasol Amawheelies concluded their Pool Stages games in the 2017 U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship, with yet another difficult opponent in the USA at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto on Monday afternoon, 12 June 2016.

The youngsters from South Africa had hoped that the tide would turn against their more fancied opponents, who themselves had not registered a win at the tournament, however, this was not to be the case. The youngsters from south of the Canadian border, were in no mood to be on the wrong end of an upset and went into the game with vigour and aggression.

Team USA though has been among the top powerhouses in junior men’s wheelchair basketball, having enjoyed great success at four of the past five world championships. This record alone is evidence enough that USA was going to be a very tough opponent for Amawheelies to play against.

Once again, it was Wheelchair Marlins youngster, Simangaye Shabalala from Kwa-Zulu Natal that was putting in most of the effort, top scoring for the South African Youngsters with eight (8) points and three (3) Rebounds.

Quick transition play, impressive defence and clinical field goal shooting saw the Americans race into an early 20-point lead in the first quarter and turned the screw tighter on the South African’s in the second quarter, going in at the break with a 46-9 lead.

Amawheelies struggled with the basics and despite putting up 59 attempts on goal against the USAs 71 attempts, the glaring difference was that the youngsters from SA converted 11% of their efforts, to the American’s 52%.

South Africa will now need to regroup and look to put in a vastly improved effort, if they are to avoid coming home with the Wooden Spoon Award. Amawheelies are likely to meet Brazil in the 11/12th place playoff on Wednesday, 14 June 2017 at 10:00 (16:00 CAT).

For the complete match stats follow: http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/IWBFW/615702/index.html. Live streaming for the upcoming game will be available on: sportscanada.tv/u23wwbc.

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