Paralympics-BT Paralympic World Cup 2011: Great Britain men’s wheelchair basketball settle for bronze

The GB men’s wheelchair basketball team secured the bronze medal at the BT Paralympic World Cup, defeating Brazil by 63-43 in the third place play-off.

By Gareth A Davies

They undoubtedly missed veteran playmaker Jon Pollock, who was sidelined three days before the event with a shoulder injury. Teenager Harry Brown was drafted in to take Pollock’s place.

In the bronze medal play-off, the home team started out slowly and trailed throughout the first quarter. But they came out fighting in the second quarter and took the lead in the first two minutes. Terry Bywater had a great second quarter putting 12 points on the board to add to his overall top scorer tally of 17. GB finished the first half with an eight point lead over the Brazilian team.

The Brazilians looked like they were going to take control again in the third quarter, creeping back up to within three points on the scoreboard, but GB dug in and put another ten points between them with Highcock performing well both offensively and defensively.

Terry Bywater said: “I’m happy with the result, it was a typical ‘English Bulldog’ performance. We knew we had to come out of this game with a medal and we didn’t want to let the fans down and we showed what the British team is all about.”

GB then dominated and ran away in the fourth quarter, increasing their lead by over 20 points as the Brazilians looked tired and GB defended well. The last minutes also saw 16-year-old Harry Brown score his first international basket for GB, to rapturous applause as the bronze was secured.

The result came after Canada were crowned men’s Wheelchair Basketball champions of the BT Paralympic World Cup when they beat France 56-46.

Patrick Anderson was once again outstanding for the Canadians, as they led from the start and while they never put together a game-destroying run they did enjoy a 19-point lead during the third period.

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