Three days, five games, and a perfect record.
Canada finished the Continental Clash tournament blemish-free, completing their goal of showing their mettle in the tune-up tournament prior to the Paralympic Games.
The final match of the tournament also proved to be its most thrilling, pitting Canada against Great Britain for the second time in three days. After handily defeating the Brits by more than 30 points (78-46) on the opening day of the tournament, Canada squared off against a Great Britain side that was looking for revenge. The two teams put on a display that will not be easily forgotten – our friends over at the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association offered up this analysis after the match:
“In a fast paced and physical game, Patrick Anderson immediately got Canada on the scoreboard and quickly backed up the opening basket with another 2 points to give Canada a 4-0 lead with GB’s shots not dropping.
In a high scoring period, GB began to find their rhythm and the basket, the first quarter finishing with Canada ahead by 21-11. However, it was GB’s Lee Manning who pulled off an incredible three point play to open the second period before Canada hit back with two. But Dan Highcock stayed calm under pressure to make 2/2 on the free throw before Abdi Jama shot home for two, narrowing the gap to 18-23.
Some great teamwork by Canada saw Anderson momentarily stop the Brits’ momentum before Matt Byrne got the team back on track, 20-25. The second period ending 26-34.
Bo Hedges opened the scoring in the third, taking Canada to a ten point lead before Ade hit back for GB, 28-36. In an incredible quarter for GB, Terry Bywater and Gaz Choudhry shone as the team staged an incredible comeback to take the briefly take the narrowest of leads before a great basket on the buzzer by Adam Lancia tied the game at 48 points a piece with just 10 minutes remaining!
GB edged ahead by 51-48 at the start of the fourth but Canada pulled out all the stops to take a 55-53 lead. In a thrilling period that saw the teams strong at both ends of the court, but it was the visitors who edged ahead by three points 59-56 with just under 2 minutes left on the clock.
Anderson then hit an incredible personal tally 31 points as he extended his team’s lead to 61-56; Abdi Jama responding for GB by sinking two free throws.
But with both teams now in foul trouble, Anderson replied by making two free throws of his own to make it 63-58. Ade hit back to make it 59-63 before Dave Durepos sunk a free throw to seal the win for Canada, 64-59.”
As noted, Pat Anderson ended the game with 31 points, while David Eng notched 12, and Bo Hedges chipped in with 6.
The win gave Canada a tournament record of 5-0, not only securing a top spot on the podium, but also bragging rights heading into the Paralympic Games.
Following the Continental Clash, the Sr. Men are headed to Cluses, France, to take part in a mini-camp/tournament against Great Britain and France, where Canada will be looking to add another trophy to case prior to the Paralympic Games.