The line-up for the men’s crossover games at the 2018 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, taking place in Hamburg, Germany were decided on the final day of pool stages.
Despite all teams moving forward to the crossover stages, it was still all to play for with the final standings determining their opponents in the next stage.
The first upset of the day was in the final match in pool C, between the bottom of the table Brazil and top of the table Japan. The game was close all the way, but it was Brazil that stepped up in the fourth to win the game, 69-61. The result, however, did not affect the standings and they stayed in their respective places in the pool.
Brazil Head Coach, Tiago José Frank, said, “We had to win today, our players needed the win to regain their confidence in this tournament and we are very happy with this victory and are now preparing for our next opponent Australia.”
In a top of the table clash in pool A, Canada set themselves a mountain to climb after Iran came out the blocks the quicker of the two teams and gave themselves a healthy 19-point advantage at the end of the first, 29-10. In the second and third quarter, Canada chipped away at Iran’s lead and brought it back to a four-point game at one stage, but could not erase the deficit fully and Iran guaranteed themselves the top spot of the pool with the win, 83-71.
Iran’s Head Coach, Mohammadreza Dastyar, said, “Canada has a great team and a lot of experience, but our team is very young, and it was very important for us to become first in the group to make our way through the tournament easier. We want to be among the top eight in wheelchair basketball, that’s our main goal, we can already see the semi-finals up on the horizon, but it’s more important for us to demonstrate good basketball first.”
Both games to complete pool B were clear cut. The USA ensured the top spot cruising to a 75-49 win over South Korea to remain unbeaten, whilst Great Britain finished with a 30-point win over Poland, 78-46.
Pool D was the most unpredictable with three teams going into the day with the ability to top the group. Argentina subjected Spain to their third consecutive loss, 61-54, resulting in Spain finishing bottom of the pool. In the other deciding game, Netherlands caused another upset of the day, defeating the Australian Rollers, 58-53. The results meant that Australia finished first, Netherlands second, Argentina third and Spain fourth.
Netherlands Head Coach, Cees van Rootselaar, said, “I’m proud of the team, they did a great job. We started very aggressively at the beginning, and if you keep Australia at twenty points in the first half, you have done a good job. The Australians are a very good team, we know that and even if they’re down, they can catch up. I’m very proud and now we have to prepare for tomorrow’s important game. “
The next round of women’s group games were also played today. The Netherlands preserved their winning record convincingly defeating Brazil, 73-27. It was a bad day at the office for the Australians, as their women’s team lost against Great Britain. In a strong performance, Great Britain overturned the Australian Gliders, 63-38, and top pool A winning four from four so far.
In pool B, China secured a comfortable win over the USA. After a close first half, with only two points in it at the break, China blew the Americans away in the third winning the quarter 22-8 and going on to seal the victory, 64-43. France and Argentina opened the action of the day, both still looking for their first win of the championships. France got the win in a low scoring game, with forward Marianne Buso getting a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds, leading her team to a 43-32 victory.
For all results and more information click here.
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Photos and quotes courtesy of Rollstuhlbasketball WM 2018 Hamburg – MSSP Michael Schwartz / Uli Gasper