The first quarter-final of the women’s wheelchair basketball competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games of the day was a purely North American matter – Canada vs USA. It was also the rematch of the Lima 2019 Parapan Games’ final, where Canada upset team USA and crowned themselves Champions.
Natalie Schneider led the United States to a 63-48 quarterfinal win over Canada on Tuesday. Schneider and USA repeatedly broke down Canada’s defence, making the extra pass and converted on 15 of 21 shots inside the paint.
During the first quarter, the game remained balanced and it was only in the second quarter that the US team pulled away, going into halftime leading by 10 (23-33).
Canada could not turn the momentum in their favour and despite keeping it closer in the second half they also lost the final two quarters 9-12 & 16-18. The USA securing the 15 point win to get their revenge for the Parapan Games loss and more importantly, advance to the semi-finals, where they will face China.
USA Head Coach Lawrence ‘Trooper’ Johnson looked ahead to the rest of the competition saying:
“I still don’t think we’ve reached our potential. I think we have a better game in store for us.”
Awaiting the USA in the semi-finals are China, who remained undefeated at Tokyo 2020 by dismantling the 2018 World Championship silver medallists Great Britain 47-33.
For Canada on the other hand, the Paralympic journey for a medal comes to an end and will play off against hosts Japan for the 5-6 place.
The semi-finals will take place Thursday 2 September:
18:15 – Germany v Netherlands
20:45 – China v USA
For a full wheelchair basketball schedule and results click here.
Photo: Shingo Ito X-1/ Quote OIS