The third quarter-final of the men’s wheelchair basketball competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games saw Canada, the fourth-seeded team in Group B, against the first seed spot in Group A and World Champions Great Britain.. Could Canada, the underdog, led by Patrick Anderson, pull off an upset?
And it looked like an upset was on the cards, as Canada took a 10 point lead midway through the second quarter. Starting the third quarter the hope was still alive. At this point, Canada was led by one (42-43) and were displaying an excellent performance, with Anderson stepping up already netting a double-double (22pts, 17 rebounds).
However, GB demonstrated that they can mobilize a comeback when needed. Unfortunately for Canada, they displayed the same resilience once again. Led by the British triple-threat – composed of Gaz Choudhry, Gregg Warburton and Lee Manning – GB outscored Canada 24-9 in the last quarter. The aforementioned Gaz Choudhry recorded a triple-double (21pts, 10 rebounds and 14 assists) while being the player-coach for the team.
GB’s Player-Coach, Choudhry said:
“I don’t know what it is but we just seem to play best when we have our backs against the wall.
“We knew that would be a grinder. They’ve got Paralympic gold medallists, they’ve got the greatest player of all time, they’ve got a phenomenal coaching staff and Joey Johnson there, who knows us really well, so we knew they would be prepared, we knew that it would take 40 minutes to beat them and it did.”
GB advances to the semis and will face Japan on Friday. Canada will face Germany in the classification game for 7th place.
The semi-finals will take place Friday 3 September:
18:15 – Spain v USA
20:45 – GB v Japan
For a full wheelchair basketball schedule and results click here.
Photo: Shingo Ito X-1/ Quote OIS