Friday, September 12, 2008

Brazil, S. Africa advance with classification wins in men's wheelchair basketball

Brazil and South Africa notched wins in the Paralympic men's wheelchair basketball classification games for places 9-12 on Friday at the National Indoor Stadium.

The winners will compete for 9th and 10th place on Tuesday at the National Indoor Stadium.

Brazilian centre Jose Marcos Silva and three of his teammates combined for 59 of their team's 75-56 victory over Sweden, including 48 points in the paint, 20 second chance points and 20 points from Sweden's 17 turnovers.

"We don't feel tired to compete continuously. We are here just to compete, and before the competitions we trained a lot, so we have adapted to the pace of the game. Although yesterday evening we just competed with China, this morning we are ready again," said Everaldo Lima, Brazilian guard.

"We both did defence and offence well. Today we strengthened our defence, and good offence is the result of this.

"We got the good positions under the basket and had good defence, so we could get most of the rebounds."

"We used to set our goal as getting into the top eight, but now, since it's impossible, we will just try to get the best ranking we can," added he.

Swedish forward Peter Kohlstrom tied Silva as the game's highest scorer with 20 points, but no other Swedish player scored more than eight points.

South Africa overpowered China 67-60, stealing the ball 15 times and scoring 20 points from China's 20 turnovers.

S. African forward Richard Nortje was the game's highest scorer with 22 points.

"We came into this game a bit slow, but we put it together in the second half. We let them have the first half, and that's why they came out fighting the way they did. If we had closed the game down in the first half, there would have been a lot less pressure on us in the second half," said Nortje.

On the upcoming ninth-place game against Brazil, Nortje said: "We gave the game to Japan , so we are looking to not make the same mistakes again."

"We want to finish as strong as we can. Overall, this tournament is a much better achievement than any previous South African team has done before. All in all, it's been a good tournament."

Chinese centre Ding Hai scored 20 points, but the Chinese team missed four of their last five shots in the fourth quarter to prevent a closer finish.

Sweden and China will compete for 11th and 12th place on Sunday.

Source: Xinhua

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