SA team to be finalised

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The South African wheelchair basketball team for the Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria next year and for the 2008 Beijing Paralympics will be finalised this weekend at the Vodacom Wheelchair Basketball Challenge.

Coach Viv Sierra said the challenge will afford him and his selection team the ideal opportunity to assess talent ahead of the Nations Cup, a tournament that acts as a qualifier for the Beijing Paralympics.

"I have settled on the majority of my squad, but there are about three places up for grabs," he said. "I want to have a look at youngsters such as Malcolm Chinian and Odingo Mnginigi from the Eagles, and Luvuyo Mbanda of the Lions."

Charles Saunders, head of Wheelchair Basketball South Africa, believes the challenge will prepare the team well for Beijing.

It started yesterday at Mandeville Indoor Centre, east of Johannesburg. Organisers said it consisted of four teams with the South African national squad of 25 split into Vodacom green and Vodacom gold selections and joined by the South Africa under-23 team and Angola. Sierra will be in charge of the Vodacom green selection, while national under-23 coach Naftal Chongo will oversee the Vodacom gold side.