In the final game of the opening day for wheelchair basketball at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, saw defending Paralympic Champions Canada take on Spain.
For the first 5 minutes there was nothing between the two as they went basket for basket to keep the score level, however the Spanish benefited from a number of turnovers from the Canadians and went on a 12 point unanswered run and finished the quarter 20 -11 ahead.
Nerves seemed to get the better of the young Canadian team and the Spanish’s experience shone through allowing them to continue to control the game taking a comfortable lead into the final quarter, 65 – 34
Canada rallied in the final quarter and kept the score to within just three points, 15 – 12, however Spain’s dominance secured them their first victory of the Paralympic Games, 80 – 46.
Canada’s Head Coach, Stephen Bialowas, said “We have to regroup tonight and make a few adjustments. All the players need to look at how we executed our game plan. We weren’t as focused as we needed to be when playing a team like Spain who are very experienced. I think the whole event, the Paralympic Games as it is the biggest competition you can compete at got to us slightly and we just has some first game jitters.
“A lot of our rookies and new players on the team struggled a bit in that game but as a whole we need to regroup and just come back at it tomorrow. There is no time to rest we have another game to prepare for and we just need to make adjustments tonight on our game plan, work together and make it happen.”
Spanish Men’s player, Jordi Ruiz, said “I’m very proud of this win, it was important for us as our group is going to be tough. I think every member of the team gave his best and everyone worked as a team. We played the way we wanted in offence and defence and you can see that by the final score. I’m very proud of the team.
“The next game tomorrow against Japan is going to be a tough one again, our philosophy is to take one day at a time and each match as it comes and work for the next one and we’ll see what happens at the end of the tournament.”
For full match statistics click here https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-basketball-mens-group-a-preliminary-wb-5