It will be another Canada versus USA final, this time in the men’s wheelchair basketball competition at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, after they both won their semi-finals against Colombia and Argentina respectively.
Opening the penultimate day of the competition, Canada came out with a vengeance to ensure there was no repeat of their semi-final at the Guadalajara 2011 Parapan American Games where they lost to Colombia.
It was fairly close until the final five minutes of the first half, when Canada went on a 14-2 run to draw out their advantage to seventeen points at the break. They continued to turn on the pressure in the third and charged ahead to a commanding 31-point lead. Colombia rallied in the final quarter, winning it 13-2, but it wasn’t enough, as Canada took the win 62-42.
Another astonishing performance by Patrick Anderson saw him control the game with 20 points, 16 rebounds and 7 assists, however Anderson emphasised that it was a team effort, saying:
“I think that because of our chair skills and our speed, we were able to challenge them to a hard game. We were able to control some parts of the game, but not all. We respect Colombia, its talent and its heart, they knocked us out when we were trying to qualify for London 2012, so we have a lot of respect for them.
“I am proud of the way in which everyone on the team has improved since last summer, after the disappointing World Championship result. We have all responded to the challenge of trying to be amongst the best teams in the world again. This is a big step for us, but we are not satisfied yet.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game, Anderson said:
“We already have the pass to Tokyo, so that takes away the pressure a bit. We can play a little more free and loose, and have fun playing against whoever is in the final, possibly the United States, it would be fun to play against them.”
USA and Argentina battled it out in what was a scrappy affair in the second men’s semi-final of the Parapan American Games. The first quarter was an exchange of baskets in a physical battle, with the USA just edging it by three. They continued to move further ahead in the second, creeping out to a 31-17 lead at the half-time break.
Argentina went through a dry spell in the third quarter, as their Head Coach Mauro Varela, rotated his bench to try and get them scoring again. USA went on a 17-0 run though to give themselves a 27-point lead. The game finished much as it started, with a lot of physicality, but the USA had done enough to ensure they proceed to the final and to Tokyo 2020, winning 67-36.
Following the semi-final win USA’s co-captain Steve Serio said:
”It feels amazing to know we have qualified. Before arriving at this tournament, we knew we had a goal, and that was to qualify for Tokyo.
“Argentina are a great team. In the last World Championship they went very well, and we knew it would be a difficult game, but we were very fortunate to get this victory.”
Assessing their chances in the final, Serio continued:
“We know Canada quite well, and we know it will be a great game. Beyond the result, we will go out on the court and try to do what we do best: play basketball in the United States style. We are talented, we are focused and we are confident. We are very excited for tomorrow. ”
Canada and USA will play for Parapan American Games 2019 Gold Medal at 17:00 (local time). Colombia and Argentina will get their final chance at qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as they compete for the third and final ticket from the zone, in the bronze medal game tomorrow at 14:30 (local time).
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
Photograph Copyright: Enrique Cuneo / Lima 2019. Quotes courtesy of NSLima2019