Gliders secure quarter final place

THE Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team has secured itself a quarter final against Mexico after topping its group with a nine point win over the Netherlands on Sunday night at the North Greenwich Arena.

After falling to their first defeat of the tournament in their last start against Canada, Australia produced its best basketball when it counted to lead a talent-filled Dutch team from start to finish for a 58-49 win.

The twin towers of Cobi Crispin and Amber Merritt were again at the forefront for the Gliders in attack, with Crispin scoring 10 points and Merritt 19, with five rebounds.

But this win was built on a team effort. Clare Nott was again immense for Australia, playing 35 minutes in her defensive role, just a day after playing all 40 minutes against Canada.

Sarah Stewart (6 points, 5 rebounds), Shelly Chaplin (4 rebounds, 7 assists) and Kylie Gauci (8 points, 6 assists) all produced fine performances, and coach John Triscari was left beaming after the match, proud of the character of his team.

"We wanted to get on top early and have them chasing us, so, in that respect, I suppose it did. We focused on stopping a lot of their big players, particularly (Mariska) BEIJER (NED), from getting into the keyway, and the girls did a sensational job. Gert (Gertjan VAN DER LINDEN, NED) is very hard to coach against because he throws a lot of stuff at you. Tonight, he was the one having to make the changes. Another day, it will probably be me."

"We've been dreaming about medals since we first started together as a group, and our goal has always been to get into the medal games. But this is a super-tough competition - not many points between top and sixth. Any of the teams playing in the medal games have a real chance, so we will have to do the best we can and hope that along the way the gods of basketball smile on us once again."

On the prospect of facing Mexico, Triscari was quick to remind that every game matters in Paralympic competition.

"No game's easy, you know. We finished on top, so the crossover with the other side is in our favour. But they are by no means easy. We only beat Brazil by two points and Brazil only beat Mexico by two in the PanAm (Parapan championships) play-offs for third and fourth, so it's going to be tough."

By Chris Abbott

Posted 02/09/2012

The Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team has secured itself a quarter final against Mexico after topping its group with a nine point win over the Netherlands on Sunday night at the North Greenwich Arena.

 

After falling to their first defeat of the tournament in their last start against Canada, Australia produced its best basketball when it counted to lead a talent-filled Dutch team from start to finish for a 58-49 win.

 

The twin towers of Cobi Crispin and Amber Merritt were again at the forefront for the Gliders in attack, with Crispin scoring 10 points and Merritt 19, with five rebounds.

 

But this win was built on a team effort. Clare Nott was again immense for Australia, playing 35 minutes in her defensive role, just a day after playing all 40 minutes against Canada.

 

Sarah Stewart (6 points, 5 rebounds), Shelly Chaplin (4 rebounds, 7 assists) and Kylie Gauci (8 points, 6 assists) all produced fine performances, and coach John Triscari was left beaming after the match, proud of the character of his team.

 

"We wanted to get on top early and have them chasing us, so, in that respect, I suppose it did. We focused on stopping a lot of their big players, particularly (Mariska) BEIJER (NED), from getting into the keyway, and the girls did a sensational job. Gert (Gertjan VAN DER LINDEN, NED) is very hard to coach against because he throws a lot of stuff at you. Tonight, he was the one having to make the changes. Another day, it will probably be me."

 

"We've been dreaming about medals since we first started together as a group, and our goal has always been to get into the medal games. But this is a super-tough competition - not many points between top and sixth. Any of the teams playing in the medal games have a real chance, so we will have to do the best we can and hope that along the way the gods of basketball smile on us once again."

 

On the prospect of facing Mexico, Triscari was quick to remind that every game matters in Paralympic competition.

 

"No game's easy, you know. We finished on top, so the crossover with the other side is in our favour. But they are by no means easy. We only beat Brazil by two points and Brazil only beat Mexico by two in the PanAm (Parapan championships) play-offs for third and fourth, so it's going to be tough."