Basketballers in camp

The South African wheelchair basketball team begin the next phase of their preparations for the Beijing Paralympics with an eight-day camp in Johannesburg this weekend.

The South African wheelchair basketball team begin the next phase of their preparations for the Beijing Paralympics with an eight-day camp in Johannesburg this weekend.

Coach Viv Sierra announced yesterday that the camp starts tomorrow and runs until May 4.

He said the skills and drills segment of the camp would take place at the Vodacom Mandeville Indoor Centre while two of those eight days will be spent at the Tuks high performance centre in Pretoria.

"It's another crucial step for us in our preparations. It's probably the most important camp of the five we have had since last November," Sierra said.

He added that his squad would look to build on the positives achieved in Belgium where his Sasol- sponsored team won a quadrangular tournament.

"I learnt a lot from that tournament. Guys such as Thandile Zonke and Ralph Williams really came through.

"I think Thandile was the pick of all my players in Belgium."

Sierra played much of the final against France without star player Richard Nortje, but he said the rest of the team stepped up to the plate.

"If Richard was available I would have never known what guys such as Thandile and Ralph were capable of under pressure.

"None of the players dropped their shoulders when I told them that Richard was out of the final. They just took it in their stride and went out and played."

Jaco Velloen, Ike Monti, and Alen Mtatsatsa have been invited to join the camp. - Sowetan Reporter

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