Canadian men finish second in their pool at IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

June 14, 2023

The women run out of time in late comeback bid


DUBAI – The Canadian men’s team completed its preliminary round schedule with an 87-42 victory over Egypt on Wednesday at the IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championships.

The women dropped a 68-64 decision to Australia as they nearly overcame a 15-point deficit with six minutes remaining in the game.

In the men’s game, Chris Higgins led Canadian scorers with 21 points followed by Nik Goncin with 17 and Blaise Mutware with eight. Ashraf Ammar of Egypt led all scorers with 22.

Canada, eighth at the 2020 Paralympic Games,  led 21-9 after the first quarter, 40-13 at the half and 58-27 after three.

“It’s awesome to have a win like this,’’ said Goncin. ‘’We have to bring it up a pretty big step for the next one. We need to stick to our game plan no matter the outcome. We generally have a problem playing our game when the game is unorthodox – Egypt wasn’t playing defence the way Brazil will play defence – but we have to play our game regardless of what is going on the other side.”

Germany topped Group C with a 3-0 record, Canada was 2-1, Thailand 1-2 and Egypt 0-3. In the men’s tournament, the preliminaries determine the seedings for the knock-out stage which starts with the round of 16 on Thursday.

Canada will face Brazil, third in Group A at 1-2 at 4:15 a.m. (ET).                   

 “For us, this was the point where the tournament actually started,’’ said three-time Paraluympian Bo Hedges. ‘‘We needed to win this game, get rhythm, get going. Tomorrow is going to be a tougher game; the next day is a tougher game, so it’s just a progression – now we play every day.”

On the women’s side, Kady Dandeneau, the tournament’s top scorer, sunk 24 more points on Wednesday with veteran Cindy Ouellet adding 23 as Canada dropped to 2-2 and is tied for second with Spain, Great Britain and the Aussies in the Group B standings.

“We battled hard; we left it all out there,” said head coach Marni Abbott-Peter. “Australia shot really well, and their fourth and fifth threats contributed offensively – that was the difference in the game.’’

Canada had leads in the first two quarters but trailed 20-17 and 36-33 at the end each one. The Australians pulled away in the third and led 53-44 after 30 minutes.  It was 63-48 with six minutes remaining before Canada significantly closed the gap.

‘’We gave ourselves a chance to win at the end, so we can be proud of that and hopefully carry that momentum into Friday,’’ said Abbott-Peter.

China is first in Group B at 4-0. The Canadians conclude the preliminary round against China on Friday at 2 a.m. (ET). The top-two from each of the four groups advances to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

‘’We are going to work hard in our preparations against China,’’ said Canada’s Élodie Tessier. ‘’We will have to move the ball as fast as possible, shoot well and play as a team.’’

All of Canada’s games are carried live on CBC’s streaming channels.

With files from Sportcom and Wheelchair Basketball Canada

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