Day 6 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games saw the final day of Group action for the men’s wheelchair basketball competition.
In Group A, the day started with an Americas battle between Canada and Colombia. With an energetic effort last night (against Korea), Canada had unlocked an opportunity to gain a quarter-final spot but for Colombia, it had already been confirmed that they would go through to the Classification Rounds. And yet, both teams showed up looking to finish the Group stage with a win. Canada – boosted by yesterday’s last quarter performance – hit the better start and went into halftime with a 35-19 lead. With the support of Patrick Anderson’s double-double (22pts, 17 rebounds) Canada carried over the lead to finish their final game with a 52-63 win over Colombia. Colombia will enter the Classification Round as the 6th seed from Group A, whereas Canada finished 4th and will face Group B’s top seed Great Britain.
The final Group A game saw Japan and Turkey took to the floor to decide who would go into the quarter-finals in the higher seeded second place. Both teams entered the court with a 3-1 record, only having lost to Spain. An early first-quarter run by the Turks gave them a 10-2 head start with 5 minutes into the game. But after a slow start, the Japanese woke up to fight their way back into the game. From there on, it was an equilibrated up and down. At halftime, Japan carried a one-point advantage (27-28) to the locker room. The locals had a successful debrief during halftime and came back stronger and faster. The Japanese speed, their cohesive team basketball and Hiroaki Kozai’s (22pts) soft-touch were too much for Turkey. Final score 55-67 in Japan’s favour. This final group game victory sets Japan up for second in Group A – meaning they will face Australia in the quarters. Turkey will have to play the USA in Wednesday’s quarter-final.
The quarter-finals line-up is now confirmed for Wednesday 1 September:
12:30 – USA v Turkey
15:00 – Spain v Germany
18:15 – Great Britain v Canada
20:45 – Japan v Australia
For a full wheelchair basketball schedule and results click here.
Pictures: Shingo Ito X-1