June 25,2014(ISN) – The Netherlands produced a second-half comeback against Australia to seal top spot in Group A of the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, while Germany also secured a fifth straight win to lead Group B as the quarter-finalists have been decided in Toronto.
London 2012 champions Germany and bronze medallists The Netherlands have been the form teams so far at the Mattamy Athletic Centre as they rounded out the group stages with 100 per cent records.
Australia had threatened to halt the Dutch winning-streak today after a strong first-half showing had them leading 27-25 at the break but a pep talk from head coach Gertjan van der Linden where he told his players to “read the game and play our own game as we’ve practiced and then we are good enough to beat Australia” saw them come out reinvigorated for the second-half.
His players heeded the advice and led by Inge Huitzing they regained their composure to eventually emerge with a 47-38 win.
The Dutch will now take on China in the quarter-finals and Australia face a clash with hosts Canada.
China secured their quarter-final berth by registering their second win of the tournament against Brazil.
After being fouled out in yesterday’s game against Great Britain, the Chinese had Yong Qing Fu to thank as she returned to score 34 points against a Brazil side who have yet to win in Toronto.
(Brazil finished the group stages in Toronto without a win after losing out to China today ©Wheelchair Basketball Canada)
Canada came through a pulsating affair with Britain which saw the lead change hands six times before the hosts emerged with a 59-52 victory.
Britain led by a single point at the break and a superb third quarter, which saw them claim seven rebounds, had them tied at 40-40 with their more fancied opponents going into the final period.
But, cheered on by the home crowd, the Canadians found a better rhythm in the final 10 minutes to register 19 points to their opponents 12 and take the win.
“Definitely something we want to improve on,” said a frustrated Canadian head coach Bill Johnson afterwards.
“We made some changes to our full court press attack and we took advantage of the fact that they were being very aggressive on defence.
“We took advantage of that a lot better in the second half than we did in the first.”
(Fans at the Mattamy Athletic Centre were in fine voice after seeing their side come through a tight encounter with Great Britain ©Wheelchair Basketball Canada)
Britain face a tough challenge in the quarter-finals as they take on the United States.
The defending champions came through comfortably 74-35 against France in a performance that was highlighted by 25 points for Rebecca Murray, while Desiree Miller chipped in with 20 points and eight rebounds.
The French face an even more daunting task as they face a rampant Germany side.
The Paralympic champions racked up another comfortable win against Japan with Mareike Adermann, Linda Dahle and Marina Mohnen all starring in a 82-49 win.
The other game in Group A was a battle between the winless Mexico and Peru and it was the Peruvians who joined their South American neighbours Brazil as the only sides without a victory at the Championships.
Floralia Estrada led the Mexican attack as she scored 27 points and took 11 rebounds in a 63-24 win.
Teams will have a rest-day tomorrow before action resumes on Thursday (June 26) with Brazil taking on Peru and Japan against Mexico to determine the ninth to 12th placings ahead of the four quarter-finals.