Tigers reflect on the pressure, support and challenges of Kalahari Conference

Tigers reflect on the pressure, support and challenges of Kalahari Conference

Cape Town Tigers head coach Florsheim Ngwenya has commented on the added pressure that the team faced in the recently concluded Basketball Africa League (BAL) Kalahari Conference season on home soil.

Speaking to the media after their last game at the SunBet Arena in Pretoria after losing 84-75 to Moroccan giants FUS De Rabat last night, Ngwenya felt that they tried their best to meet the expectations.

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Tigers ended third in the four-team competition with only 25 points behind Rabat and Angolan champions Petro De Luanda.

Ngwenya acknowledged the role of the crowd in trying to lift the team.

''Every time you play at home there's pressure, and the pressure is that all the fans expect you to do well, and the second part is that they expect a good show game in game out,'' said Ngwenya.

Tigers star players Samkelo Cele and Billy Preston Junior finished with a combined contribution of 47 points in yesterday's game and Ngwenya has addressed the concerns on over-reliance on the two players.

''At any given point you have players that are ball dominant, you then give them a leeway to make decisions to try and find the other guys,'' added Ngwenya

After the first game by 26 points against Rabat, the Tigers improved in last night’s game losing only by nine points, as the Moroccans upped the pace between the third and the fourth quarter.

Rabat deservedly won the Kalahari Conference with 75 points from four matches and Ngwenya reviews the dominance of North African teams in the BAL.

''The North African teams have got a similar style of play. They are a very good team but we knew what they would do and we tried to combat that,'' he concluded.

With the BAL spotlight now switching to the Nile and Sahara Conferences respectively, it’s going to be a long wait to see if the Tigers will make it to the play-offs and the finals in Kigali in May.

The South African representatives can only qualify as one of the two best third-placed teams from the three Conferences.

Ngwenya says this is the time for them to reflect and be realistic about the challenges they have faced in this year’s edition.