The first men’s semi final of the day saw Spain tip off against European Champions Great Britain.
Great Britain immediately fired the ball home to go 2-0, but then shots refused to fall for both sides until, with both teams finding the basket, the scoring became end to end: Great Britain edging the first 10 minutes by 14-12. The start of the second quarter saw Spain hit back to take a 15-14 lead with a stunning three pointer. The teams continued to trade points until Spain pushed forwards to take the half by 35-28.
It was Great Britain who won the third quarter by 15-14, but Spain who entered the final 10 minutes of the game ahead by 49-43.
The final quarter was a thrilling affair with nothing separating the teams: both sides adding another 20 points to their tallies, so – despite some stunning three point shots from Great Britain’s Kyle Marsh and Terry Bywater – it was Spain who closed out the win by 69-63 to earn their place in the final.
Great Britain Head Coach Haj Bhania said, “It’s a disappointing result: they were just a bit too strong for us height-wise, size-wise, speed-wise, and we didn’t defend as well as we could do and turned down too many shots. We didn’t shoot the ball well today, compared to yesterday, and that was the difference in the game – they were just better than us on the day.”
Spain’s Head Coach Jose Manuel Artacho said “Ut was a great game against one of the best teams in the world – we knew if we didn’t play at our highest level, we didn’t have a chance.
“We’ll prepare for the final just like it’s another game; we need to keep focused in the tournament – we will have time to celebrate when the tournament has finished.
“I’m very proud of all the team – the staff, the players, the supporters, the volunteers.”
For full match statistics click here https://www.rio2016.com/en/paralympics/wheelchair-basketball-mens-semifinal-wb-2