South Africa secures a spot at the IWBF Men’s U23 World Championship

Sasol U23 Wheelchair Basketball team celebrates after securing a spot at the IWBF World championship

The Sasol U23 Wheelchair Basketball National team has secured their spot in the 2022 IWBF tournament taking place in Thailand in September 2022. They emerged victorious after beating the Republic Democratic of Congo (RDC) 77 – 34.

The South African team overwhelmed the RDC team in the first half of the game, demonstrating excellent techniques and tactics in the first half, leading by 46 – 8. The RDC missed several opportunities in scoring as Ayabonga Jim’s defence approach proved to be too much for the opponents failing to score.

The South African U23s did not leave any room for error as they persisted in displaying excellent play on the court which resulted in them leading by a margin of 43 points, leaving the RDC team trailing behind.

The Sasol U23 Wheelchair Basketball National team coach, Willem Mulder, expressed his excitement of heading to the IWBF tournament in Thailand in September this year. “My players truly displayed amazing sportsmanship on the court ensuring that they secure their spot in the IWBF tournament. Their hard work and dedication reflected on the court as they managed to close the gap so the RDC could not catch up. We are excited to be heading to Thailand, and the preparations will start immediately as we will be facing strong opponents at IWBF.” He concluded

The South African team dominated the awards handouts clinching four (4) out of five (5) awards during the prize-giving ceremony, witnessing Luke Lotter, Ayabonga Jim, Bofelo Rammone and Xola Yalezo taking awards home.

MVP of the series Xola Yalezo described his excitement as he stated, “Firstly, I would like to thank Sasol, WBSA, the coaches and my teammates for the endless support that they gave me during the tournament. Playing for the first time in the U23 team was exhilarating; my teammates were filled with passion and drive, and we managed to qualify for the IWBF. I am glad that my experience of playing in the National senior team came in handy during this series.”

Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorship congratulated the team for their brilliant performance. She said qualifying for the IWBF is a great feat which is a result of all the hard work and dedication of the players, coaches as well as the management and technical team. “Best wishes for your preparations for the IBWF, continue to epitomise the #Limitless spirit on and off the field”, she concluded.

On 18 February, the IWBF announced that the U23 World Championship had been relocated and rescheduled to take place in Phuket, Thailand, in September 2022.