Great Britain men gave their hometown crowd something to be excited about after the women’s side’s disappointing defeat in the quarterfinals.
GB Men got a huge scare down the stretch but they managed to hold off Turkey, 75-70, to advance to the semifinals of the 2012 London Paralympic Games men’s wheelchair basketball competition.
The host squad went toe-to-toe with Turkey in the first two quarters and managed to take a two-point lead before the halftime break. And after gaining a lot of momentum, Great Britain had a sizzling performance in the third quarter to build a nine-point lead heading into the final period.
Great Britain looked bounded to an easy win, but the Turkish side gave them a scare down the stretch.
With Great Britain leading 71-62 with two minutes left in their quarterfinal match, Turkey unleashed a huge rally to pull within a point with 20 seconds left in the game before GB star Terry Bywater sealed the win with four cold-blooded free throws.
“They tried coming back with the fouls but Terry is a true professional and that’s why he is the leading all-time free throw percentage shooter in the Paralympics Games,” said Great Britain coach Murray Tresseder. “The ball’s in good hands with him at that stage.”
With the win, Great Britain arranged a semi-final duel with Canada, who dominated Spain, 77-51, in their quarterfinal match.
Canada, who finished with the silver medal in Beijing four years ago, defeated Great Britain by 16 points in the group stages, but GB team captain Matt Byrne expressed confidence about their chances in the final four.
“We’ve been in semi-finals before and hopefully this time we’ll get that win,” Byrne confidently said.
Meanwhile defending champion Australia had a short work against Poland as they hammered out a 76-53 win that pit them with semis clash with USA, who scored a 57-46 win over Germany to book the final-four seat.
2012 London Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Quarterfinals Results (Wednesday – September 5)
- Germany 46 – 57 USA
- Turkey 70 – 75 Great Britain
- Canada 77 – 51 Spain
- Australia 76 – 53 Poland