Canadian WCB team falls to Great Britain, ending Tokyo medal chances

Men's side unable to hang on in fourth

Nik Goncin
Nik Goncin works inside against Japan in an earlier match. Canada lost their quarter-final match against Great Britain Canadian Paralympic Committee

Canada’s wheelchair basketball team led by four at the half in their quarter-final, but lost 66-52 to Great Britain after a crushing Team GB fourth period.

Patrick Anderson played the entire game, finishing with 22 points and 17 rebounds, but was unable to get much from his supporting cast.

Three other Canadians contributed eight points, but the team’s other top scoring option, Nik Goncin, finished with six points on three of 12 shooting.

The game stayed close for three quarters, but Great Britain outscored the Canucks 24-9 in the fourth quarter. Britain used its ball movement and different scoring options, led by the trio of Gaz Choudhry, Lee Manning, and Gregg Warburton, who scored 21, 17, and 16 respectively, to keep their medal hopes alive.

Choudhry finished the game with a triple double (21 pts, 10 reb, 14 ast), with each stat finishing well above his tournament averages. The 36-year-old has yet to reach the top of the podium in the Paralympics but has stepped up his play in the knockout stage in pursuit of the elusive gold.

Great Britain’s Gaz Choudhry shoots the ball in a previous match. Credit Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball

During the game, the Red and White were able to compete with the top-seeded British, matching them offensively, but the lack of a true second scoring option allowed the defending world champions to double-team Anderson, limiting his output late. He finished with just three baskets in the second half.

For the Canadians, this marks the second-straight Paralympic Games they will fail to reach the podium. After four straight medals in London, Beijing, Athens and Sydney, Team Canada will have to begin building towards Paris 2024.

A great place to begin is when they finish out their Paralympics against Germany in the classification round Thursday at 11:30 p.m. EST.

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Posted: Sep 1 2021 11:36 am
Filed under: Basketball Parasports Sports Tokyo Paralympics Wheelchair Basketball