In a top of the table battle in Pool B, it was the USA who triumphed over Great Britain to take the group’s first place.
After an end to end start to the game, it was the USA who pushed ahead by 11-4; Great Britain then began to find their form in the key – shooting their way back to take a 12-11 lead with just 22 seconds left in the quarter. The final points of the opening 10 minutes, however, went to the USA with a buzzer beater from Michael Paye to put the Americans up by 13-12.
The start of the second saw the USA continue to capitalise on offense whilst the GB Men’s shots just would not fall; America firing it home from behind the arc to overcome a strong finish by Great Britain to enter half time ahead by 31-22.
Great Britain then took the third quarter by 15-11 to enter the final 10 minutes of the game just five points behind the USA: America ahead by 42-37. Sensing the threat posed by the GB Team, the USA found another level of play in the final quarter to go 5-0 with a 65-48 win.
USA Head Coach Ron Lykins said: “We knew that this was going to be a very tough game: Great Britain is very well coached, they’re very talented, they play well as a team – we’ve seen a lot of them the last couple of years so we knew what we getting ourselves into playing them today. As you saw the game started out very tight, we then made a little bit of a run and got a bit of a lead and they came right back into it – in fact that happened a couple of times. And at the end we were able to make a lead and just hang onto it.
“We feel good ahead of the quarter finals: we’ve done about as well as we can to this point, but all it’s done is set us up for the quarters now. Now it’s win or go home – 5-0 really doesn’t matter anymore it’s just one game at a time and our biggest game has got to be that quarter final game against the Netherlands.”
Gaz Choudhry, GB’s top scorer with 17 points, said: “It was tough: they did something that they haven’t done all year, which was press us – so it was good that we got to see that and we can go back and have a look at it again. We’re now playing Australia, so relishing that challenge – on to the next one.”
For full match statistics click here https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-basketball-mens-group-b-preliminary-wb-27