In the first women’s semi-final of the wheelchair basketball competition at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, the enormity of the game showed in both Canada’s and Brazil’s performances in the first half, as both teams looked tight. It was only just before the half-time break that Canada put a little daylight between the two teams as they led by five points.
Canada upped their intensity in the second half and their defensive pressure caused Brazil problems causing a number of turnovers and forcing them to take rushed and outside shots. The Canadians capitalised on this to storm the third quarter 23-8, and give themselves a cushion to maintain in the fourth, eventually running out winners, 61-40.
The win for Canada ensures them not only a spot in the women’s wheelchair basketball final at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, but they have also secured a place at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next year.
Brazil struggled to contain Canada’s top scorer Arinn Young, making a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds. Young, Canada’s co-captain, said after the game:
“There are so many emotions right now. I’m just thankful we pulled through. That was a really great team win. We just kept working minute by minute and it paid off. We are going to Tokyo.
“I think Canada is all about redeeming ourselves right now. We had a rough go a little bit for the last couple of years and I think the world needs to see what Canada can do in that gold medal game. We are going to get the job done.”
In the second semi-final, the USA eased their way passed Argentina with quarter scores of 22-5, 21-8, 23-1, and 10-16, to ensure they are in with a chance of defending not only their Parapan American Games title, but also their Paralympic Games title at Tokyo 2020.
A key playmaker throughout the game with 10 assists to her name, USA’s Abigail Dunkin explained how she was feeling after the win:
“I feel incredible, it was a great team victory. Everyone played well from the minute they entered (the floor). Tomorrow we will have the chance to get the gold medal, but the big goal in these Parapan American Games was to get the classification to Tokyo and we did it.”
Looking ahead to the final against Canada, Dunkin said:
“It’s going to be a very good game. We’re expecting a very physical game and we’ll be ready for that.”
The sixth day of wheelchair basketball action also saw the 5-8 standings decided in both competitions. In the men’s competition, Brazil bounced back from their heartbreaking quarter-final defeat to see off Puerto Rico, 68-51, to secure fifth, and Mexico finished on a high note to finish seventh with a large win over hosts Peru, 99-42.
In the women’s competition, Mexico finished with a resounding victory over Colombia, 69-21, to secure fifth spot, whilst Peru overturned the result from their earlier group loss against Chile to win 46-21, and grab their only win of the tournament to secure seventh spot.
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 NSLima 2019
Photo credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee