Cartier Diarra in action for the Tigers

Where to now for the Cape Town Tigers?

FLORSHEIM Ngwenya gave an honest and brutal assessment of things at the Cape Town Tigers following a third straight loss in their Basketball Africa League Kalahari Conference campaign.

The Tigers found themselves wanting in the game against the Moroccan club, FUS Rabat and succumbed to an 84-58 loss.

Cracks showing in the Tigers Camp 

As things stand for the Tigers, their chances of making the playoffs in Kigali hang in the balance. Ngwenya apologized to the South African fans for their underwhelming performance so far. 

“First of all, I’d like to apologize to the fans and South Africa in general who have paid their money to come watch us play. I think we didn’t do justice to all of those people,” said Ngwenya during a post match conference. 

Billy Preston in action
Billy Preston’s talent is undeniable, but his attitude has often been criticised. Pictures: The BTO

The Tigers did not look like a cohesive unit and struggled to find open shots, play defence, and pass the ball effectively. Ngwenya believes that Rabat was the better team on the night. 

Coach Ngwenya criticized his team for a lack of effort, stating that it was also out of their control, hinting at their inadequate preparation leading up to the Kalahari Conference. 

“It was not an ideal situation. We only had two weeks of preparation compared to guys who have had six to seven months of preparation. As the saying goes ‘Ball don’t lie’ and it showed,” said Ngwenya. 

Tigers had eleven assists as opposed to FUS, who had twenty-six assists. The team also accumulated twenty turnovers to add to their woes. 

The cracks in the team dynamic started to show when Billy Preston Jr had a back-and-forth in the first half with team owner Raphael Edwards. The talented, but individualistic Preston seemed to have ignored team instructions, which led to his substitution. He would eventually sit out for the rest of the game.

Preston is not new to the team, having played in the second season of the BAL with the Tigers in 2022.

His return to the Tigers was meant to provide them with some much-needed firepower for the BAL, but this seems short-lived. Also, if Ngwenya’s words are anything to go by, Preston could be out of the team.

“Once you check out on us, we find somebody to replace you. I don’t care who you are, but you can’t check out on your team right in the middle of a war,” added Coach Ngwenya.  

The Tigers coach lamented the constant roster changes, which over time have affected the team’s preparations for the BAL. 

“These things are not up to me. I’m just a basketball coach. I’m here to put X’s and O’s. I have no control over what happens in the boardroom,” added Coach Ngwenya.


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FUS Rabat continuing with dominance 

Speaking about their approach to the game with the Tigers, FUS head coach, Said El Bouzidi said the win came because of their unity and work in the paint. 

“We tried to shoot like the team from Angola (Petro de Luanda), but we are not as good a shooting team as them. When we started to play like a unit and work in the paint, we were successful. The stats showed how efficient we were in the paint,” said coach El Bouzidi. The Moroccans dominated and scored 68 points in the paint. Aliou Diarra led the scoring for FUS with 21 points and was 10/11 in field goals. 


While FUS are looking good for a run at the playoffs, the Tigers are in need of deep soul-searching.

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