Men defeat Korea, Women cement spot in quarters on Day 5 at the Paralympics
(August 29, 2021 – TORONTO, Ont.) Patrick Anderson scored a game-high 29 points leading Team Canada to a 74-64 win over Korea in men’s wheelchair basketball on Sunday at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“I feel a lot better finally, definitely better, definitely nice, it’s always nice to win,” said head coach Matteo Feriani. “We did many things better. The offence finally got more involved. Being more consistent on defence also helped.”
The victory means Canada (1-3) remains in contention for a quarterfinal berth, with a game against Colombia remaining to conclude the preliminary round.
Anderson added nine rebounds and six assists in Canada’s win. Nik Goncin contributed 23 points and 10 assists, while Bo Hedges chipped in 10 points in the win.
The 42-year-old Anderson admitted he felt in a groove scoring 12 first-quarter points in the win.
“I told myself to slow down a touch and take a breath, and I felt like that paid off,” Anderson said. “I was pressing maybe a little bit the first three games. I wanted it a little bit too much and some of the guys, Joey Johnson and Nik have been telling me to keep my follow through out there like I do on my free throws – do that with all my shots – my free throws are looking good and going in so I kind of took that in as my mental focus for the game.”
Team Canada shot 52 per cent from the field and went 5 of 11 from beyond the arc in the victory.
Canada led 53-47 through three quarters, and despite a fourth quarter surge, out-scored Korea 21-17 in the final period.
After losing a pair of close games to Japan and Turkey, Anderson said the team did a better job of sticking to the game plan.
“We had a bit more of an offensive plan there, and we were disciplined sticking with it,” he said. “But it was a kind of an attack that gave us a few different options. I think we were also a little bit more relaxed as a team, and maybe that’s part of learning how to win.
“I think defensively, it’s our fourth game and we haven’t played a game in a year-and-a-half, so it’s not surprising given our level of experience, talent and passion and preparation as a team that we would get better as the tournament has gone on.”
Women earn date with U.S. in quarterfinals
Team Canada defeated Australia 76-37 in their final preliminary round game in women’s wheelchair basketball. The victory earns Canada (3-1) a date with the United States (2-2) in the quarterfinals.
“We bounced back well from our game yesterday,” said head coach Marc Antoine Ducharme. “Today, we wanted to work on our ball movement and wanted to work on our rotation on defence – areas that weren’t good against Germany. The response was great, and we were able to play everyone, including our younger athletes.”
Tamara Steeves had a team-high 17 points and seven rebounds, while Arinn Young chipped in 16 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in the win.
Canada used an 11-0 run to build a 20-8 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Team Canada shot 57 per cent from the field while holding Australia to just 29 per cent shooting in the win.
“We kind of talked about it after we lost to Germany that we need to start playing more team basketball, and we were going up against Australia, and that was our main focus,” said Young. “We got a quick run on them early, and it was kind of up from there.”
With the large margin of victory, Canadian coach Marc Antoine Ducharme was once again able to get his bench players minutes on Sunday, including Sandrine Bérubé who scored her first six Paralympic points in 11 minutes of action.
“She went out there and Sandrine just started to ball out,” said Young. “That’s what we’ve been seeing all summer from Sandrine so we were just so hyped that she went in with so much confidence this time around. I felt like a proud mom being able to watch her go out there. I think most of us did as well. Once she scored her first bucket, we didn’t even plan it. That’s everyone’s reaction, hyping her up and being there for her.”
Canada is no stranger to the U.S. the two teams met in the gold medal game at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, which Canada won 67-64.
“I’m really looking forward to playing the States,” said Young. “They always bring their best competition and so do we, so you know, we have a nice little rivalry with that. The States are 12 strong so we’ll figure out how we’re going to play against them and how we’re going to run tomorrow on our day off.”
Remaining Team Canada Tokyo Preliminary Round Schedule
Sunday, August 29: Colombia vs Canada 8:00 p.m. ET
Women’s Quarterfinals schedule:
Monday, August 30: Canada vs U.S.A. 11:30 p.m. ET
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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, please visit wheelchairbasketball.ca.
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Wheelchair Basketball Canada