In what was billed as the ‘Pool of Death’ the ParalympicsGB Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team brought drama to the courts of Tokyo to secure four stunning wins against USA, Australia, Iran and Algeria. Just one point secured the Team’s victories against defending Paralympic Gold Medallists USA, and 2014 World Champions Australia, in games which saw the ParalympicsGB men dig deep and hold strong on court.
The Team laid bare their determination and fight as they came back from a bitter defeat against Germany to face the USA with composure and world-class shooting to secure the win. However, it was final pool game of the tournament, GB v Australia, which demonstrated the outstanding credentials and composure of this team, coming back from a 20-point deficit to clinch the victory by a single point in the final seconds of the Game.
The Team’s top of group finish at the Pool stages of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics is a testament to the influence of their Head Coach, Haj Bhania, who is supporting the team remotely from the UK, and his mentoring and preparation of player/coach Gaz Choudhry. It also characterises the resilience, perseverance and experience of the squad who have adapted and worked together to overcome significant challenges faced during their Paralympic campaign, and shines a light on the leadership that is flourishing within the team.
The ParalympicsGB Men’s Team will now face Canada in the quarter finals on Wednesday 1st September at 10:15pm (BST).
Commenting on the Quarter Final Qualification, ParalympicsGB’s Lee Manning said:
“This is the position we wanted to be in. I’m extremely proud of the boys, I’m glad we got it done. We’ll stick together – it’s one more challenge, one more game”.
ParalympicsGB Team Leader, and British Wheelchair Basketball Performance Director Jayne Ellis added to Lee’s sentiment:
“This team have sacrificed so much in the lead up to this tournament and have spent significant time away from loved ones to be able to prepare and train. They thoroughly deserve the wins they have delivered on court here in Tokyo.
“This is exactly what a world-class wheelchair basketball team should look like – they are once again showing the world how good they really are, working together to dig deep and deliver results.”