In the second semi-final of the day current Paralympic Champions Germany took on European rivals current Paralympic bronze medalists The Netherlands.
Nerves seemed to get to the better of The Netherlands women’s team at the beginning of the match, as Germany came out on a mission and took advantage of the Dutch’s jittery start. It was the German’s pressure defence that forced a number of turnovers and missed shots from the Dutch and allowed Germany to take a 14-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The scoring continued to be low in the second quarter as the Netherlands could not find their shooting touch whilst Germany kept the points ticking over and extended their lead to the 25 -12 at half time.
However, it was a game of two halves as the old saying goes and after the half time break the Netherlands came back out more composed and the momentum soon switched back to them. Pulling the game back into reach and trailing by only 5 points with 10 minutes left to play.
A tense and exhilarating final quarter as the Netherlands use the press defence to try to get back into the game and brought it back to a four point game with just 49 seconds remaining on the clock. As they drew the fouls to regain possession off the ball they sent Gesche Schunemann to the line three times. Schunemann calmly netted four out of six free throws, which saw the German’s to victory, 55 – 45.
Germany will face USA in the final, whilst The Netherlands will play for Bronze against Great Britain.
Germany’s Gesche Schunemann said, “You always have to think that the Dutch team are going to come back they are a really strong team, I think they are the best team here in the tournament but we did a great job in defence here with the whole team together and that was key in the idea our team defence.”
For full match results https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-basketball-womens-semifinal-wb-2