Opening the games from Group A on Day 5 of the wheelchair basketball competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games was Turkey facing Columbia. From the start, Turkey dominated the game and displayed an impeccable team effort as five Turkish players finished the game with an efficiency rating beyond +34. This team play led to Turkey taking home a clear 38-80 win over Colombia. The result also reflected in the statistics with Colombia’s field goal percentage being at a light 29%, whereas Turkey shot at a very solid 55% rate throughout the game.
Next up it was Korea, in their last group game, facing Canada – the latter needing a win to avoid the Classification rounds. With both teams being aware of what is at stake, we saw an extremely focused performance on both sides of the court. Halfway through the last Quarter, Korea had passed Canada leading 57-60 and by doing so it put Canada under tremendous pressure to deliver if they wanted to still have a chance at advancing to the quarter-finals. Now, what can you expect from Canada under pressure? Right, Patrick Anderson. Anderson displayed pure determination and pushed his team to score 14 points in the final 4 minutes – 9 of which he scored himself. Korea had no response to Canada’s momentum and had to settle with a 74-64 loss. Nikola Goncin (23pts, 10 rebounds) and Patrick Anderson (29 points) did the heavy lifting for Canada in this crucial win.
The final game of day 5 at Ariake Arena presented the highlight in Group A. Spain and Japan – the only two unbeaten teams as they rolled out onto the court – both aimed for a win to get the first seed spot. Spain as a team was on fire during the first half, maintaining an impressive 64% field goal percentage during the first 20 minutes. The Spanish effort was led by Asier Garcia Perreiro who erupted for 24 points in the first half of the game. Garcia continued his mission during the second half to register a triple-double with an exquisite stat-line: 27 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds. The Japanese hosts could not keep up with that offensive efficiency and so the game ended 79-61. Spain sealed the top spot of Group A and moved forward to the quarter-finals unbeaten, whilst Japan will play Turkey tomorrow to determine who finishes second in Group A.
For a full wheelchair basketball schedule and results click here.
Pictures: Shingo Ito X-1