GB wheelchair basketball men miss out
September 8, 2012 22:27 pm
Great Britain's men's wheelchair basketball team's shooting touch deserted them when they needed it most against the United States as they missed out on a third straight Paralympic bronze with a 61-46 defeat.
Terry Bywater battled his way to 14 points, 12 of them in the second half, but was the only Briton in double figures as they shot 38% from the field.
The tone was set early on, with neither team able to score in the opening two and a half minutes before Steve Serio got the Americans started. The British duck was not broken until four minutes and 20 seconds in when Ade Orogbemi raced through for a lay-up.
The Americans were making the most of British struggles, and Serio soon made it 12-6. Joe Chambers was looking in inspired form for the Americans, and he reeled off eight straight to power them into a 25-12 lead while the turnovers and misses piled up for Britain.
Ian Sagar stopped the rot and the first points of the game for Bywater, Britain's leading scorer in London, made it 25-16 with 3:31 left in the first half. The Americans led 29-20 at the break and there were big hopes of a British recovery when Bywater led them on a 9-0 run to level it up, the Americans going five and a half minutes without scoring.
Serio sent the Americans on an 8-0 spurt to lead 41-33 at the end of the first, and they held Britain at arm's length the rest of the way to win their first medal since bronze in 2000.
Serio scored 20 points for the Americans, making eight of his nine attempts from the field.
"We went out there with a game plan but we didn't execute it," said 44-year-old Simon Munn, who indicated he would try to carry on for a seventh Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. "They've done a good job on us and made us shoot from outside when we needed to go inside. I'm just deflated at the moment, I feel like we've let people down."
Bywater, however, was more upbeat.
"In the second half, we took on one of the best teams in the world and had a crack at them," he said. "We've got to hold our heads up and be proud of what we've done."
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