Match Report

Preliminary Round: Great Britain Women 75:38 Australia

Great Britain’s Women booked their place in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games quarter-finals with a 75:38 victory and a super performance against Australia. 

Laurie Williams top-scored with 18 points and Helen Freeman posted a double-double, leading the game figures for both rebounds and assists, but it was a complete team performance from ParalympicsGB to set-up a quarter-final meeting with Group B winners China on Tuesday (31 August). 

ParalympicsGB were determined to bounce back after a tough start to their Tokyo 2020 campaign and it was brilliant response by the whole team in what was a must-win game for both nations at the Ariake Arena. 

Their determination was clear from the onset, the passion from the bench and a high-energy and confident start from the GB starting five of Charlotte Moore, Joy Haizelden, Laurie Williams, Helen Freeman and Amy Conroy set the tone for a brilliant GB performance. 

Freeman, Williams and Conroy all scored in the opening 90 seconds of the games as they would all go onto have a big influence on the game. Freeman ended the game with six points and game-leading figures of 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Williams led the points scoring and also recorded eight rebounds and six assists. 

GB worked hard to press Australia and limited them to six points in the opening quarter, while in their offence GB’s ball movement was superb, scoring 16 points within the first seven minutes of play and ending the first quarter with a streak of eight unanswered points to hold a 14-point lead after the opening quarter. 

GB continued to dominate the play in the second quarter, extending their advantage to 22 points at the halfway stage. Williams added six points to her tally in quarter two, while co-captain and assistant coach Maddie Thompson made an instant impact off the bench scoring six points in a three-minute spell. 

It was a day when GB’s positive play was rewarded with a 55 per cent conversion rate across the game and quarter three was their biggest scoring quarter, scoring 23 points to Australia’s 12. Charlotte Moore got GB’s points scoring underway at the start of the second-half as Williams and Freeman were once again dominating the play and assists. 

Amy Conroy had her best scoring game of the Paralympics so far with 15 points, including seven points in quick succession in the third quarter, as GB extended their lead to 33 points by the time the third quarter ended. 

The fourth quarter was the lowest scoring quarter of the game but saw GB in control with Robyn Love scoring her first points of the game along with Lucy Robinson, who scored her first Paralympic Games points with four. 

Thirty-seven points was the winning margin for ParalympicsGB as they beat Australia at the Paralympics Games for the first time to confirm their place in Tuesday’s quarter-finals. 

Preliminary Round: Great Britain Men Australia vs Team GB

Great Britain’s Men produced a sensational comeback to beat Australia 70:69 to top Pool B having been 20 points down in the second quarter. 

Player-coach Gaz Choudhry top-scored with 28 points, including 22 second-half points, as ParalympicsGB fought back in the final two quarters for GB claim a tense, but thrilling, one-point victory to set-up Wednesday’s quarter-final meeting with Canada. 

It was another heart-pumping game for anyone watching from home, but, on the court, there was composure, determination and fight. 

Australia had built a seven-point lead with four minutes gone in the opening quarter, despite early GB points from Choudhry and Lee Manning, who both ended the game with double-doubles. Four points from outside the paint from Abdi Jama, and two points for Gregg Warburton closed the gap to two just under halfway through the opening quarter. 

But a run of 14 points for Australia against GB’s one saw Australia take the first quarter 27:12. 

There was a change of line-up for GB as the second quarter began but Australia continued their momentum from the end to the opening quarter and grew their lead to 20 points with five minutes left of the half. 

GB responded well, working hard to limit Australia’s scoring opportunities and to re-claim possession from defence with three steals and four turnovers in the quarter. Seven points from Gregg Warburton, including a three-pointer, and two points from Choudhry inside the final minute saw GB finish the half strongly and cut Australia’s lead to 13 with the final two quarters still to come. 

As the second-half began, ParalympicsGB reverted back to their starting five line-up of Choudhry, Warburton, Jama, Manning and Harry Brown. GB started the second-half with intensity, four points from inside the paint for Manning getting GB off to a quick start. 

Nine points from Choudhry, six points from Manning and two points from Warburton saw GB draw the score level with just over three minutes to go in the third quarter as GB defended strongly. 

Despite a successful free-throw from Choudhry and four more points for Warburton, it was a five-point game heading into the final quarter with Australia leading 50:55 as Manning’s field-goal attempt bounced off the rim on the buzzer. 

It was a lead that was back to one when Warburton added four points from outside the paint from Choudhry’s assists. As GB responded, so did Australia, extending their lead to seven points with three minutes, 42 seconds left on the clock. 

The decisive spell in the game then followed for GB. After two points each from Choudhry and Warburton reduced Australia’s lead to three, Australia responded with a basket of their own. But, within seconds, their lead was two, a three-pointer from Choudhry making the score 67:65. 

A steal from Choudhry started a play that saw Warburton draw a foul on the fast break and his one from the line made it a one-point game with two minutes to go, taking his tally for the game to 22 points. 

The game was then turned on its head, GB leading for the first time, when Manning scored from inside the paint with 84 seconds left, assisted by Brown. Australia’s lead was soon restored, Jannick Blair scoring from close-range. 

What proved to be the game’s decisive points came from Choudhry, 61 seconds to go, created his own shooting opportunity, and delivered to send GB back into a one-point lead. 

GB defended defiantly, forcing Australia into a shot clock violation in the final minute, as GB held out superbly to complete a sensational comeback and seal a 70:69 win. 

Quarter-Final: Great Britain Women 33:47 China

Great Britain’s Women battled all the way against a strong China team in the quarter-finals as China claimed a 33:47 win despite a resilient effort by ParalympicsGB.  

Their team spirit, passion and resilience was once again on show on the Ariake Arena court as they came-up against an undefeated China, who topped Group B with a 100 per cent winning record. 

Buoyed by their stunning victory against Australia on Sunday, GB held their own in the early stages against China, with Laurie Williams levelling the scores after China scored the first basket. While the speed of the GB starting five of Williams, Charlotte Moore, Helen Freeman, Amy Conroy and Joy Haizelden and their early defensive pressure created an early turnover and forced China to make a change to their line-up. 

GB were creating opportunities, but as was the case in the Preliminary Round, the baskets just weren’t falling for GB. A 6-0 scoring run for China saw the 2018 World Championships semi-finalists establish an early lead, but a three-pointer from Freeman, who posted her second double-double in Tokyo, broke China’s momentum and made it a three-point game. 

After a couple of shots were missed by GB, China ended the quarter with three baskets in the final 90 seconds of the quarter to build a nine-point lead at the end of quarter one. 

It was extended to 15 points with just over four minutes gone in the second quarter, but GB responded well and the baskets began to fall, Conroy scoring five points and both Moore and Maddie Thompson adding two each to make it a 14:27 half-time score line. 

Two close quarters followed with both teams defending defiantly including GB forcing China into two turnovers in the opening half of the third quarter. A combined four points from Freeman and Conroy cancelled out the opening scores of the second-half. 

Points from outside the paint for co-captains Thompson and Conroy and the first two of the game for Jude Hamer reduced the deficit to 11 points with two minutes, 30 seconds left of the third quarter. But it was China who extended their advantage in the final 11 seconds of the quarter to make it a 14-point game as it entered the final quarter. 

ParalympicsGB battled all the way to the end, never giving up belief and showing great character to try and close the gap on China who were defending resolutely, just as they had done throughout the Preliminary Round. 

Five points from Freeman and two points for Haizelden in the opening half of the final quarter brought GB back to within 11 points but both teams cancelled each other it in the final quarter as China held firm to claim a 33:47 win despite ParalympicsGB fighting all the way to the end. 

Quarter-Final: Great Britain Men 66:52 Canada

Great Britain’s Men reached their seventh successive Paralympic Games semi-finals after producing another superb fightback to beat Canada 66:52 in the quarter-finals. 

ParalympicsGB were 10 points down in the third quarter, but came back to win by 14 points to reach another major semi-final. Player-coach Gaz Choudhry recorded a triple-double of 21 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, while Lee Manning and Gregg Warburton scored 17 and 16 points, respectively. 

It was a back and forth opening two quarters with the game tied 10 times and both teams having spells in the lead during the first 20 minutes. All of the GB starting five of Choudhry, Manning, Warburton, Harry Brown and Abdi Jama had scored points by the time the clock had ticked past halfway in the first quarter. 

GB had built a lead of four points, but Canada finished the quarter strongly to take a two-point lead into the second period of 10 minutes. 

The start of the second-quarter followed a similar pattern to the first; both teams cancelling each other out in the early stages as Choudhry and Jama both had success from outside the paint to add to the GB points tally. 

It was, however, Canada who had the upper hand heading into half-time, despite good defensive pressure by GB and points from Choudhry and Terry Bywater in the final minutes of the second quarter, as Canada took a four-point lead into half-time, 26:30. 

Gregg Warburton found his shooting rhythm at the start of the third quarter, scoring four points early. Canada, however, extended their lead to 10 points with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.  

But ParalympicsGB GB responded brilliantly. The next 10 points were all scored by GB; baskets from Brown, Warburton, Manning and Choudhry drawing GB back level. An important scoring run to make it a one-point game heading into the final quarter after Patrick Anderson added a point for Canada from the free-throw line late in the quarter. 

It was set-up to be another grandstand, but nail-biting finale, for ParalympicsGB supporters watching back home. But on the court GB remained calm and composed. Four points from Warburton gave GB a three-point lead within 90 seconds of the start of a final quarter that saw GB outscore their opponents, 24:9. 

It was another superb performance by ParalympicsGB, built on a robust defensive display, particularly in the second-half, and high-quality shooting. 

After two early baskets for Warburton at the start of the final quarter and two points from Manning, GB had gone from trailing at the start of the quarter to a three-point lead within two-and-a-half minutes of the restart. 

With Manning, Warburton and Choudhry continuing their scoring, including a three-pointer from Choudhry, GB had established a 14-point lead with three-and-a-half minutes to go. Excellent defensive play and game management ensured there was not going to be another tense conclusion to the game as ParalympicsGB held firm to record a 66:52 win. 

ParalympicsGB’s Men’s Team will play Japan in the semi-finals on Friday (3 September). Time TBC. 

7th/8th Play-Off: Great Britain Women 62:43 Spain

Great Britain’s Women once again showed their collective strength and determination as they were victorious against Spain to secure seventh spot at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Co-captain Amy Conroy was the game’s top-scorer with 22 points during a superb team performance as ParalympicsGB ended their Tokyo 2020 campaign with a 62:43 win.

The Women’s team have shown incredible resilience and fight throughout the past 18 months in challenging circumstances, and, again on Thursday, the team played with enormous pride and quality to bounce back from Tuesday’s quarter-final heartbreak.

GB were determined to leave Tokyo on a high and this was clear from the onset. Laurie Williams scored within the opening 25 seconds as ParalympicsGB made a fast start to the match, racing into a 10:4 lead halfway through the first quarter.

Six points from Amy Conroy and four from Williams helped GB establish their early lead as GB played with fluidity in offence and high-energy pressing in defence. Their work rate and persistence was rewarded, not only with a 14-point lead at the end of the opening quarter, but, ultimately the win, with GB forcing Spain into nine turnovers in the opening quarter and 25 during the match.

Conroy ending the first quarter with eight points and Williams six with Joy Haizelden, Helen Freeman and Robyn Love all scoring points in an opening quarter that saw GB score 22 points against Spain’s eight.

Co-captain Maddie Thompson extended GB’s lead to 16 points at the start of the second quarter, but, Spain battled back to within seven points of ParalympicsGB’s total with just over two minutes left in the half.

A strong end to the quarter saw Williams, Conroy and Charlotte Moore all add to GB’s tally as ParalympicsGB held a 12-point lead at half-time, 21:33.

The difference was back to eight with two minutes gone in the third quarter, but two more points for Conroy from outside the paint started a spell that saw GB score 18 points in the final eight minutes of the quarter, limiting Spain to just two.

The dominant third quarter helped ParalympicsGB build a 24-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes. A lead that grew to 26 thanks to points from Moore and Lucy Robinson early in the final quarter.

Love and Thompson both added to their points totals in the final quarter as GB defended well to make sure there was no way back for Spain. When the buzzer sounded, it secured a fantastic 62:43 win for ParalympicsGB after a brilliant team performance.

Semi-Finals: Great Britain Men 68:79 Japan

Great Britain’s Men will play for bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after coming-up against a strong Japanese team in the semi-finals, losing 68:79 in a highly-competitive and close-fought game. 

It was another resilient display from ParalympicsGB with Gaz Choudhry scoring a game-high 26 points and double-figure points totals for Lee Manning, Gregg Warburton and Abdi Jama, but it was the hosts Japan who progressed through to the final and GB will now fight for bronze against Spain on Sunday. 

ParalympicsGB made a fast and confident start to the game; Lee Manning putting GB three points ahead with 11 seconds gone on the clock with a basket and free-throw as GB dominated the early play. 

Abdi Jama found space outside the paint and was as clinical and consistent as he has been from those positions throughout the competition, ending the first quarter with eight points. Choudhry and Warburton were influential with the ball, both in terms of assists and points scored, both scoring four points in the opening quarter as GB led 15:23 after the opening 10 minutes. 

It was a lead that would extend to 10 thanks to Manning’s composure from the free-throw line after neither team scored a basket in the opening two minutes of the second quarter. A three-pointer from Gaz Choudhry restored the 10-point lead as Japan began to find the basket consistently. 

Japan’s on-point shooting, including from the three-point line, cut the lead to four points with four minutes to go in the second quarter, but, just as they have done throughout the tournament, Manning and Choudhry added important points to the scoreboard in response. 

But the last scoring of the second quarter saw GB’s lead cut to three with Japan’s fourth three-pointer of the game. 

A back and forth start to the third quarter saw Japan lead for the first time in the game, but, ParalympicsGB made sure they responded. Player-coach Choudhry leading the scoring response with the lead changing five times in the opening two-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter. 

Japan put a scoring run together and build a four-point lead but Choudhry and Warburton responded from inside the paint for ParalympicsGB. After Warburton brought the scores back level, Japan’s lead went to six but a basket from outside the paint with 31 seconds left of the quarter saw Warburton bring GB to within four points with one quarter to go. 

It was set-up to be another nail-biting finish for everyone watching and, while the score line may suggest it wasn’t a tense conclusion to the match, especially when looking back at the one-point wins against USA and Australia, it certainly got the heart-pumping as GB fought to the very end and ensured Japan had to work extremely hard for victory. 

The opening minutes of the fourth quarter turned into a shootout between both teams as Japan extended their lead to seven with a three-pointer within the opening nine seconds of the quarter. It was the beginning of a spell that saw points scored on each team’s offence, Choudhry, Manning and Warburton all adding to their tallies, including another three-pointer for Choudhry which closed the gap back to three. 

With four minutes, 52 seconds left of the match, it was still a four-point game, the quarter score level at 15:15 as both teams showed incredible composure and quality when on offence. With only four points separating the team, it was a game that could have either way. 

But Japan held strong in defence and continued to add points to their total and a scoring run of 7-0 saw Japan lead by nine with three minutes to go. But ParalympicsGB never stopped believing, Manning and Harry Brown both cutting the lead to seven before a successful free-throw from Terry Bywater made it a six points difference with 67 seconds left on the clock. 

GB continued to fight, digging deep, trying to cut the deficit in the final minute, but it was Japan who would go onto extend their lead further as they won 68:79. 

Bronze Medal Match: Great Britain Men 68:58 Spain

Great Britain’s Men claimed a brilliant bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games after a 68:58 victory over Spain in the bronze medal match. 

Gaz Choudhry top-scored with 19 points and there was a double-double for Lee Manning as ParalympicsGB claimed bronze after another outstanding team performance. 

ParalympicsGB have shown incredible resilience and determination throughout the Tokyo competition, coming from behind time after time, and, after trailing by two points at half-time. 

There was nothing to separate the teams at the end of a close opening quarter tied at 16:16. The early play saw both teams have time in the lead but a three-pointer from Choudhry and two points each from Manning and Harry Brown did allow GB to build a four-point lead. But four points from Spain in the final 76 seconds of the quarter levelled the scoring heading into quarter two. 

A scoring run of 11-3 at the start of the second quarter saw Spain establish an eight-point lead, but ParalympicsGB responded brilliantly. The top-scorer from the bronze medal game in Rio five years ago, Terry Bywater, once again leading the charge, scoring seven points, including a three-pointer, in a 70 second spell to cut Spain’s lead to one. 

Spain did build their lead back up to five but two points from Manning and a free-throw from Jim Palmer made it a two-point game at the halfway stage. 

GB made a brilliant start to the third quarter; points from Choudhry and Warburton turning what was a two-point deficit into a four-point lead less than three minutes into the quarter. Abdi Jama again showed his accurate and consistent shooting from outside the paint to extend GB’s lead to 12 after Choudhry, Manning and Warburton also added to their totals for the match. 

By the time the buzzer sounded at the end of quarter three, GB had increased their half-time total by 22 points, while limiting Spain to just 10 points through a strong defensive display. 

ParalympicsGB’s lead was 10 points heading into the final quarter; a lead that was extended by four in the opening 43 seconds of the quarter through points from Manning and Choudhry. 

Spain put together their own scoring run, cutting GB’s lead to six with five minutes, 42 seconds to go, but, another two points from Choudhry from outside the paint and a free-throw and two-point field goal for Manning took GB’s lead back above 10 points. 

That lead was halved back to five with 76 seconds to go, setting-up another tense conclusion to the game for fans watching back home. But Bywater showed incredible composure, adding four points from the free-throw line to give GB a nine-point with 51 seconds left. 

That was soon 11 when Choudhry took his tally to 19 points for the match with another two from the line. Excellent game management and brilliant defensive work saw ParalympicsGB hold firm to secure a fantastic 68:58 win.