The 2018 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships held both the men’s and women’s semi-finals on Friday 24th August. Powered by a strong Helen Freeman who notched 31 points and 12 rebounds, Great Britain women now have the dream of winning their first world title, beating hosts Germany, 60-37. Mareike Miller made 9 points for Germany who will now play for bronze tomorrow, before Great Britain take to the floor in the final.
GB’s Head Coach, Miles Thompson, said “It’s a great win, it’s been a tremendous effort on the part of the team, they played the best we could and we needed that. For us, it’s the first time we’ve made it to the final of such a big championship. The girls deserve credit, they did the work, we had a plan and it was implemented, it was brilliant.”
In the second women’s semi-final at the 2018 World Championships, the Netherlands progressed to the final after they defeated China 54-29.
The Netherlands Head Coach, Gertjan van der Linden, said, “We have never been to a World Championships final before, so it will be a unique match for us. We played a very good defence again today, as we have throughout the tournament. We always put pressure on the ball and kept China at a very low field goal rate. It will be a great game tomorrow and we will do ur best to beat Great Britain in the group stage, but they have an impressive victory today againstGermany. “
Great Britain will be represented in both the men’s and women’s final, as the GB men’s team replicated the women’s team success for the day, defeating Iran, 86-63, to make the final.
GB’s Head Coach, Haj Bhania, said, “We were well prepared for the game, we know that Iran are a very good team, and have been unbeaten so far in the tournament, they are very talented and they have great shooters and we knew that if we could get a grip on these scorers we would have a chance. In the late stages of the tournament, all that matters is that if you take the chances, you will get the right results, and I was very impressed with the drive and the ambition of the players and also of our fans.”
USA men became the first team to qualify for the final, as they knocked out defending champions the Australian Rollers, 84 -59, in the semi-finals of the 2018 World Championships.
USA’s Head Coach, Ron Lykins, said, “We were ready for the game from the beginning and we played with great energy. The key for us was that we played great team basketball and we got the ball moving very well. Australia have a very good team with lots of weapons, and the game felt much closer than the 25 point difference at the end. Of course we want to win the gold medal and tonight, after the second semi-final, we’ll do another detailed video analysis of our final opponent.”
For all results and more information click here.
Photos and quotes courtesy of Rollstuhlbasketball WM 2018 Hamburg – MSSP Michael Schwartz / Uli Gasper