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.