Colombia, USA, Canada and Argentina all progressed through to the men’s wheelchair basketball semi-finals at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games following a fifth day of action.
Opening the day, Colombia came into their quarter-final against Brazil with renewed confidence after an overtime win in their final group game. There was not much separating the two teams in the first half, but then Colombia started to creep away at the beginning of the third. A 9-0 scoring run put Brazil back in front, only for a three pointer on the buzzer from Colombia’s Jhon Hernandez ensured a tied game at the end of the third, 48-48, to set it up nicely for the final quarter. Colombia won the final quarter by 8 to win 74-66 to keep them in with a chance of a medal and a place at Tokyo 2020.
The second and third quarter-finals of the day were much clearer cut, as the USA and Canada swept past Mexico and Peru, respectively, to secure their place in the semi-finals.
The USA, led by captain Steve Serio’s 22 points, defeated Mexico 81-42 in a comfortable performance with three others, Josh Turek (19 points), Matthew Scott (16 points) and Jake William (10 points), all hitting double figures. Mexico’s Efrain Martinez again led their attack with 17 points.
For Canada, their superiority and experience shone as they subjected the hosts Peru, to a heavy 78-31 defeat. The game allowed Canada’s Head Coach Matteo Feriani to rest some of his key players ahead of the semi-finals, and give some of his less experienced squad vital court-time.
Despite the competitive distance between themselves and their opponent, the Peruvians moved the home support with their never-say-die attitude and gave the boisterous home crowd something to cheer.
Canada’s Chad Jassman said: “It’s always a fun one playing the home team in their home Games, so that was a good time for us and a good push going into the semi-finals. All week the fans have been awesome. They have been cheering for Canada as well as Peru, but I knew tonight would be a pretty cool feeling for them. It was a great atmosphere.”
The undefeated Canadians will now face Colombia in the semi-finals on Friday, whilst Peru will take on Mexico for seventh place tomorrow (Thursday).
In the last quarter-final of the day, Argentina showed that they are still a contender to reach the podium at Lima 2019, as they saw off a feisty Puerto Rico, 75-58. Puerto Rico could not stop the Argentinian offense, who spread the scoring across the board, with Gustavo Villafañe and Adrián Pérez top-scoring with 12 points apiece. For Puerto Rico, Carlos Martinez top scored with 18 points.
Argentina will face reigning champions USA in the semi-final on Friday, with Puerto Rico now play Brazil for fifth place tomorrow (Thursday).
In the two women’s classification games for fifth to eight position, Colombia progressed through to the 5th/6th place game following low scoring game against Chile, 16-36 and will be joined by Mexico, who defeated host Peru, 65-17.
Wheelchair Basketball will be one of five sports at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games which will be livestreamed. View via the Lima 2019 Streaming Channel https://www.lima2019.pe/canales-streaming.
*The streaming channel may not work on all internet browsers recommended browsers are Firefox or Google Chrome.
Viewers in USA, Canada and Peru are able to watch via their national Parapans broadcaster.
Schedule, Results & Statistics
Quotes courtesy of Wheelchair Basketball Canada and photo credit: Lima 2019