In the Carioca Arena, Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games opened with a nailbiting battle between Spain and Turkey Men’s Teams in Pool A.
At the end of an end to end first quarter, it was Turkey who just edged out a 21-20 advantage. The two sides continued to trade points in the second quarter until Spain found a way to pull ahead in the final 90 seconds of the half to enter half time up by 36-34.
Turkey were quick to level the game on 38 points apiece at the start of the third quarter; sensing the threat, Spain then piled on the offensive pressure to move ahead by 50-46 before a three pointer from Ozgur Gurbulak put Turkey back within one point with (49-50) with just 10 minutes left on the clock.
A thrilling final quarter then ensued, Gurbulak immediately sinking another three to give Turkey a two point lead (52-50) and, from there, Turkey quickly pushed ahead to a 59-54 advantage with just under six minutes left in the game. However, a phenomenal team performance by Spain and 2/2 from the line by Pablo Zarzuela, saw the Spanish side hit back to earn a 65-64 lead with just 63 seconds to play; with 22 seconds on the clock Gurbulak fired another one home from behind the arc to give Turkey breathing space with a 67-65 scoreline before Ferit Gumus sunk his freethrow to secure Turkey a 68-65 victory.
Joint top scorers for Spain were brothers Pablo and Alejandro Zarzuela with 19 points apiece; speaking after the game, Pablo said: “I think we played a really really good game, it was a tough game; I think the two last minutes were the key to the game – they scored some threes and we didn’t score as well and I think that was the real difference.”
Turkey’s top scorer with 39 points, Oscar Gurbulak said: “We won, but today was a really hard game: sometime we were down, but nobody gave up. I’m really happy because this game was really important for us.”
Full match statistics click here https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-basketball-mens-group-a-preliminary-wb-13