A strong defence propelled USA men to their 12th finals, and third consecutive, at the IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The USA displayed an impressive show of defence to defeat the Netherlands 52-41 in the first men’s semi-finals of the day at the World Trade Centre Halls.
Trailing 6-13 in the first quarter, the USA side rallied in the next quarter only to continue the momentum until the end. Jake Williams top-scored for the USA with 15 points that included two 3-pointers.
USA Head Coach, Robert Taylor, said:
“It was a great match. We played them (Netherlands) weeks ago and they are a great team, and we knew they are coming in. But we had faith on our defence; made some adjustments and our defence stepped up when we needed.
“We are excited about the win. Hopefully looking to change the fortune this year. We got the right group to do it.”
“It has been always a close game against them.”
“It’s a tight year. After the World Championships, we have the Parapan American Games in Santiago. But our team is playing well; and we are excited and hope we can continue the momentum to the rest of the year.”
Great Britain enter the fifth final
In the evening, Great Britain men showed why they are one of the best teams in the world as they defeated Iran 64-44 to enter their fifth final at a World Championships.
For Great Britain, Gregg Warburton top scored with 22 points while Lee Manning contributed 19.
Great Britain Head Coach, Bill Johnson said:
“There’s always pressure in a semi-final of the World Championships. I think, we have a veteran group and they put themselves well. Though we planned to do a higher percentage in our shots- we shot 23 per cent in the first quarter, that’s the lowest we usually do- but we stuck to our defence. Iran has a very good team and we had them at 44. That’s a testament of our defence and hard work.”
It is the fourth time the USA and Great Britain will play each other with six-time world champions USA having an advantage of 2-1.
FINALS DAY – Tuesday 20 June
Men’s Bronze | 09:30 – Netherlands vs Iran
Women’s Bronze | 11:45 – Germany vs USA
Women’s Gold | 14:00 – Netherlands vs China
Men’s Gold | 16:30 – Great Britain vs USA
*All times are in local time.
Text Credit: Priyanka Sharma / DCD
Pictures Credit: Mark Joseph Madrid / DCD