As the knockout stages approach, another important Pool A game saw the Netherlands take on Japan in the final game of the day at the Rio Olympic Arena.
A stunning opening quarter by the Netherlands saw the Dutch team combine impressive performances at both ends of the court to take the first 10 minutes by 22-10. The second quarter, however, saw Japan settle into the game – outshooting their opponents by nine points to enter half time just three points behind: the Netherlands ahead by 36-33.
The third quarter proved to be a thrilling end to end battle with both sides adding another 16 points apiece to their tallies; the Netherlands therefore moving into the final quarter with just a 52-49 advantage. The Netherlands held the edge in the last 10 minutes of the game, grinding out a 67-59 victory.
Japan’s Akira Toyoshima said: “We were very determined going into this match, and it was an important one to progress through to the next stage. The whole team were united to win this game and we came out and played our best.
“We are selected to represent the Japanese wheelchair basketball team so for our next game we will come out again united to try and win the next game.”
Netherlands Head Coach Frits Wiegmann said: “In the first 10 minutes we played very well: we went 10 points ahead and then the Japanese team came back and we were just 2 or 3 points ahead; still we played our good basketball and came back in the game with a five or six point lead. There were some difficult periods but at the end I think we deserved to win.
“This game was very important for us for the chance of the quarter finals. It’s a hard game next against Turkey, but we’ll do our best to win that game too.”
For full match statistics click here https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-basketball-mens-group-a-preliminary-wb-17