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Team Canada dropped the opener at the IWBF Men’s U23 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship 59-39 to Brazil on Wednesday. 
 
Garrett Ostepchuk paced Canada with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. Reed De’Aeth added 11 points, six rebounds and four assists while Josh Brown chipped in with nine points and six rebounds in the loss. The Canadians finished 17 of 54 shooting from the field and went 0-6 from three point range. 
 
“Hopefully we got our first game jitters out,” said Darrell Nordell, Men’s Under-23 Head Coach. “I knew we were in tough already coming into this tournament not getting the reps we typically get leading into tournaments. Hopefully the first game jitters are out. We missed early shots inside, we missed our foul shots and our layups. 
 
“Our half court defence, when we committed to coming back was, really good. The guys are in a positive spirit, they knew they were in tough. They wanted to play, they wanted to compete. There’s some things we’ll clean up and we’ve got another tough opponent coming up in Spain.”
 
Canada fell behind 5-0 early in the first but battled back to make it a two-point game, 11-9, heading into the second quarter. Brazil pulled away in the second period opening the quarter on a 9-0 run and held a 28-15 lead at the break. Brazil then out-scored Canada 16-10 in the third and held a 44-25 lead into the fourth.
 
“I thought when we put Josh Brown, and the second lineup in halfway through that first quarter, Josh came out and played really well,” Nordell said. “That’s probably the best I’ve seen him play in the years I’ve been around him coaching. He played well, he was a great spark. Matthew Wilton played very little for us at the Americas Qualifier in Mexico, this is his first real international experience, and he played great.”
 
Up next, Canada tips off against Spain on Friday, Sept. 9 at 5:15 am ET and can be live streamed on the IWBF’s YouTube channel.
 
“I do expect Spain to press us so we do need to be prepared for that,” Nordell said. “We need to make our decisions quicker and faster – that goes with our reads and our passing has to be better.”
 
The IWBF Men’s U23 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship is typically held every four years, with 12 countries participating. This year’s tournament will be the seventh edition of the event. It is the first U23 tournament since 2017, which Toronto hosted, and Great Britain won.
To be eligible to participate, male players must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1999. The IWBF is maintaining the same age category as if the event was held in 2021 to ensure athletes wouldn’t lose their eligibility due to the postponement of last year’s tournament.

Full stats from Wednesday’s game can be found here
 
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sports governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to excellence in developing, supporting, and promoting wheelchair basketball programs and services from grassroots to high performance for all Canadians. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem worldwide for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games. For more information, please visit wheelchairbasketball.ca

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For more information, please contact:
 
Dhiren Mahiban
Communications & Digital Media Manager 
Wheelchair Basketball Canada 
416-574-6682
dmahiban@wheelchairbasketball.ca