It’s do or die for Canada’s men’s wheelchair basketball team at Parapan Am Games

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 24, 2023

Need to win bronze medal game to have shot at Paris 2024

Anderson action

SANTIAGO – For Pat Anderson, Canada’s superstar wheelchair basketball player, it’s somewhat déjà vu all over again.

Back in 2011, Canada’s men’s team with Anderson lost its semifinal at the Parapan Ams in Guadalajara, Mexico. But it rebounded to beat the host country to win the bronze. That year, Canada already had its Paralympic berth in its pocket from the 2010 worlds.

In 2023 that’s not the case.

The men’s team is in a must win situation for Saturday’s bronze medal game. It has to defeat Argentina to not only win the medal but have a chance to qualify for the 2024 Paralympic Games.

Still Anderson has a vivid memory of that 2011 semifinal loss, and some lessons can be learned.

‘’In 2011, that was a very emotional loss,’’ recalled Anderson on Friday, after Canada’s 64-53 defeat, also to Colombia, in the semis. ‘’We came back and played clinically against a Mexican team. We didn’t press, we didn’t overplay or try to hit a home run in the first five minutes.

‘’So that’ll be the message. Just think about it as another game.”

Canada went 3-0 in the preliminary round this week then hammered Puerto Rico in the quarters before meeting up with a chippy Colombian squad. The Canadian men’s team is clawing its way back in the international standings and was sixth at the world championships this past June.

‘’We are a bit deeper than we were a couple of years ago, we still have the same core guys we can count on and our younger talent is giving us more weapons and energy.’’

Anderson, who scored 22 against the Colombians, is still a major international player at age 43. He is in the top-10 this week in scoring, rebounds, assists, blocked shots and fouls drawn. Nik Goncin is third in steals and Colin Higgins is 10th in scoring.

Saturday’s bronze medal game goes at 2:30 p.m. local / 12:30 p.m. ET.

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