After starting the tournament with two-straight setbacks, Great Britain seemed to be peaking at the right time as they advance to the quarterfinal round of the men’s wheelchair basketball competition of the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Great Britain leaned on a strong start to hammer out a dominating 71-55 win over Japan in the final day of group play on Monday night.
Terry Bywater played the hero’s role for Great Britain once again as he finished with 19 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists, helping the host score their third-straight win after their disappointing start.
“It was another bulldog performance and that was a phenomenal basketball,” Bywater said. “I feel I’m peaking at the right time after a tough year with injury. It’s not about me though; it’s about the team performance. We had a tough start but we’ve taken two defeats on the chin but bounced back and showed our character. Other teams might have slumped but we’ve emerged stronger for it.”
Simon Munn also had a productive night for Great Britain, racking up 15 points and nine rebounds, while Ian Sagar added 11 points and seven rebounds, keeping the team’s hope of equaling or even improving from their bronze-medal finish in 2008 in Beijing.
Meanwhile, defending champions Canada finished the group play with a bang as they trumped Colombia, 68-42, to sweep and finish on top of Group B.
Dave Durepos led the Canadian’s offensive attack with 18 points, while Patrick Anderson and Bo Hedges added 13 and 10 points, respectively, with the latter adding six assists.
On the other hand, Australia, the silver-medalist in the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, defeated Italy, 68-48, to finish on top of Group A with their 5-0 record.
2012 London Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Day Five Results (Monday – September 3)
- Canada 68 – 42 Colombia
- Italy 48 – 68 Australia
- Japan 55 – 71 Great Britain
- Turkey 79 – 54 South Africa
- Germany 73 – 63 Poland
- USA 63 – 55 Spain