Canadian men face world champion Great Britain in quarterfinal

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 31, 2021

Tough task ahead for men’s wheelchair basketball team


Canada will need to cause a big upset to fight for the medals in the men’s wheelchair basketball quarterfinal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. 

The Canadians are up against Great Britain, the reigning world champions and defending bronze medallists from Rio 2016. The British squad posted a 4-1 record in the round robin portion of the tournament for first place in Group B. They scored one-point wins over the U.S., the defending champions, and Australia.

However Canada is on a roll heading into the quarters. After an 0-3 start, Canada earned impressive victories over Japan and Colombia to grab the fourth and final playoff spot in Group A.

“It took us a little bit to get the cohesion,” said veteran player Bo Hedges. “Then just figuring out how to win together, how to close out some games, that took us a couple more games. It was a process to get to the point where we were able to win those last two and get that experience.”

Canada has been led so far by Nik Goncin and Pat Anderson, third and fourth in tournament scoring with 21.2 and 21.0 point per game. Anderson, the star player in Canada’s three Paralympic titles in 2000, 2004 and 2012, is also first in rebounds, fouls drawn, free throw percentage and free throws made.

“We need to keep going,” said Canada’s head coach Matteo Feriani. “Now we have nothing to lose. Every game is a final. We need to continue to improve in our defensive play and in our team game on the defensive side.”

The British are relying on a more rounded attack with no one in the top-10 in scoring. However Greg Warburton, Gaz Choudry and Ian Sagar are all in the top-10 in field goal percentage. There are no Canadians in the top-10 in that department.

The Canada-GB game goes at 5:15 a.m. (ET) Wednesday morning in Canada which is 6:15 p.m. in Tokyo.

The other quarterfinal matchups are USA-Turkey, Spain-Germany and Japan-Australia.

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