GB men's basketball side lose to Canada
September 7, 2012 00:09 am
Great Britain's grit and determination were no match for the sheer brilliance of Canada's Patrick Anderson as the hosts' dreams of gold were ended at the semi-final stage in London courtesy of a 69-52 defeat in the men's wheelchair basketball.
Anderson, the world's outstanding player, had 17 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds as Canada set up a rematch of the 2008 final and a shot at a third gold in four Paralympics as they move on to face defending champions Australia on Saturday.
Britain must hope to match the bronze they won in Beijing after watching this game get away from them in the third quarter.
"Maybe we got a bit overwhelmed," said co-captain Abdi Jama of Britain's second-half performance. "We turned the ball over and that's not usually like us."
Britain started strongly and held the edge for most of the first quarter, only for Canada to come back late on and edge in front to take a 21-16 lead.
The hosts were hampered when their leading scorer in London, Terry Bywater, headed for the sidelines in foul trouble at the end of the first quarter, and Britain had several complaints about the referees at the end of the game.
With Bywater missing, Canada held Britain at arm's length until half-time, taking a 33-27 lead in at the break.
But in the third quarter they began to turn on the style, and Anderson's shot from the top of the key put them up 41-31.
Soon after, Joey Johnson's back-to-back baskets keyed an 8-2 run that had them up 51-35. The lead hit 20, 57-37, at the end of the third quarter, and the game was up.
The defeat is Britain's third of the London Games, after they lost their opening two group games, including a 70-54 loss to Canada in which Anderson collected his first career triple-double - something he missed out on by one rebound on Thursday night.
Copyright © Press Association Ltd. 2012, All Rights Reserved.