Late comeback gives Canadian men first win at Americas Cup

Canadian Paralympic Committee

July 15, 2022

Canadian women undefeated

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SAO PAULO, Brazil – Nic Goncin spearheaded a late rally for Team Canada Thursday as it earned its first victory in men’s play at the Americas Cup wheelchair basketball tournament.

After an opening day loss to Brazil, three-time Paralympian Bo Hedges scored 15 points as Canada defeated Argentina 60-57 to even its record at one win and one loss in the preliminary round.

The competition is a qualifier for the IWBF World Championships November 16-27, 2022 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Canadians led 17-11 after the first and 34-27 at halftime but saw an 11-point lead evaporate late in the third quarter and into the fourth. 

The Argentines were up 49-46 with about just over five minutes remaining before the Canadians outscored their opponent 14-7 with Goncin scoring half the points.

Canada shot 38 per cent from the field and were 4 of 8 from three-point range.

“We rewatched video of the game on Wednesday, and it was literally just the shooting,” said Goncin. “The shots were good; they just didn’t drop. The defence was fine, there was very little to fix, so today our gameplan was literally the same, but we shot a little bit better.”

Goncin chipped in 14 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists, while Colin Higgins added 14 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Lee Melymick contributed 13 points and five rebounds in the win.

Canada now awaits the conclusion of the preliminary round on Friday to determine their quarterfinals opponent.

Another easy win for Canadian women

On the women’s side, Canada improved to 2-0 with an 80-30 trouncing of Guatemala.

Canada opened the game on an 8-0 run and held a 46-10 lead at halftime. The women finished shooting 38 of 73 from the field and 12 per cent from three-point range in the victory.

Arinn Young paced the Canadians with 15 points and four rebounds, and Danielle DuPlessis added 13 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists.

“In the end, we’re happy with the result, we did the things we had to do, and I think we gave Guatemala a good game,’’ said Senior Women’s National Team Head Coach Marc Antoine Ducharme. ‘’It was a good learning game for them too.”

The women wrap up the preliminary round on Friday morning against Bolivia.

The top three women’s teams and the top four men’s teams qualify for Dubai.

Team Canada’s men’s and women’s games will be streamed on the CBBC TV YouTube channel and the IWBF Facebook page.

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