South Africa ready for AfroBasket battle against Mozambique


South Africa has broken a seven-year hiatus from senior national team participation in FIBA continental qualifiers, and the anticipation is palpable as they gear up for a two-leg FIBA AfroBasket pre-qualifier against Mozambique. The clash, tipping off on Friday, February 23, marks a significant moment for Lebesa Selepe and three other players who were part of the last South African team in continental competition back in 2017.

Speaking with a sense of honor, Selepe expressed his excitement at wearing the green and gold of his country once again. He emphasized the privilege of representing South Africa in basketball, recognizing it as one of the most significant callings in sport. The 32-year-old acknowledged the seven years of inactivity on an international level, emphasizing the team’s eagerness and readiness to compete.

The roster features familiar faces like Pieter Prinsloo, Chris Gabriel, and Lehlogonolo Tholo, who contributed to the 2017 AfroBasket squad. Additionally, new talents, Nkosinathi Sibanyoni and Samkelo Cele from Cape Town Tigers, bring fresh energy to the team.

Selepe, full of praise for his Tigers teammates, regarded them as two of the best players in the country. He highlighted their experience in competitions like the Road To BAL and the BAL, emphasizing their knowledge of the required physicality to compete on the continent.

While questions about the team’s readiness linger, Selepe dismissed concerns, stating they are as prepared as possible. With a focus on internal cohesion and a bit of preparation, the team has worked on set plays and combinations. Selepe, undeterred by external opinions, emphasized the importance of going out there and fighting. Acknowledging the historical intensity of games against Mozambique, Selepe embraced the challenge, comparing it to a dogfight where the bigger dog emerges victorious. The upcoming battles against Mozambique are not just games; they symbolize a step in the right direction for South African basketball, a journey the nation eagerly awaits.

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