Australia Rollers victorious against Great Britain men's national wheelchair basketball team

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales

Australian wheelchairs before the game
Image: LauraHale.
Dan Highcock passes the ball
Image: LauraHale.
Justin Eveson for Australia and Ade Oregembe for Great Britain
Image: LauraHale.
Ade Oregembe for Great Britain
Image: LauraHale.
Brad Ness went down
Image: LauraHale.
Australia's number 6 Brett Stibners and 9 Tristan Knowles. Great Britain's number 10 is Abdi Jama.
Image: LauraHale.
Terry Bywater of Great Britain heads down the court
Image: LauraHale.

In yesterday's men's first place final at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge at the Sport Centre at the Sydney Olympic Park, the Australian Rollers beat the Great Britain men's national wheelchair basketball team 70–64.

Like the preceding game featuring Australia's women that was only won in the fourth quarter, this match was close until the very end. Australia won the tip but spent much of the first quarter tied with Great Britain. The two teams were tied at 4–4 with 7:33 in the first, and 10–10 with 3:16 left in the first. Australia took a narrow 15–13 lead into second quarter. Australia held a narrow lead during the second quarter, taking only a one point lead of 30–29 into the half. Australia managed to get a five point lead of 44–39 with 3:10 left in the third. They held onto this lead at the end of the third with the score sitting at 48–42. The fourth quarter saw both teams in foul trouble, with five plus personal fouls each by the last minute of the game. Great Britain lost their composure at one point, with players loudly arguing with each other on court. With 0:18 left in the game, Australia had a six point lead with the score sitting at 68–62 following a pair of missed free throws by Great Britain's Joni Pollock. Great Britain was unable to stage a last minute comeback and Australia held on to win 70–64.

The Rollers and Great Britain are both bound for the London Paralympics next month.

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