Canadian men defeat Colombia to earn World Championship qualification
(São Paulo, Brazil) The Canadian men punched their ticket to the 2022 World Championships with a 77-73 win over Colombia in the quarterfinals of the Americas Cup on Saturday in São Paulo.
Canada will play Argentina in Sunday’s semifinals at the Americas Cup.
“It feels great to have that punched and have that step checked off on the path,” said Bo Hedges, who contributed six points in the win. “We came to this tournament to obviously accomplish that, but we also want to do more at this tournament. Today is just one step in this tournament. Now we have the semifinals and then play for a medal on the last day – those are the next goals.”
Nik Goncin paced Canada with a triple-double, scoring 29 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds. Colin Higgins added 19 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds, while Lee Melymick chipped in 13 points and four rebounds in the victory.
“I had a little bit better shooting game, but so did everyone on our team,” Goncin said. “Every time the ball came out of my hands to somebody, they scored it, so kudos to the entire team.”
The Canadians shot 28 for 55 from the field and were 50 per cent from three-point range in the win. Canada jumped out to an early 7-1 lead in the first and remained in control for much of Saturday morning’s game leading 34-29 at halftime and 56-49 heading into the final period.
“We’ve kind of grown as the tournament progressed,” said Higgins. “We’re knocking down a couple more shots, we’re hitting a couple more layups, we’re getting a couple more stops on defence when we need them, and that’s what we want to see, and hopefully, we can continue that into the semifinals.”
Complete stats from Saturday’s win over Colombia 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 that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games. For more information visit www.wheelchairbasketball.ca
Communications & Digital Media Manager
Wheelchair Basketball Canada