Both the men’s and women’s teams held nothing back in their first matches of the Papendal Tournament in Arnhem, Netherlands.
In the words of the Sr. Women’s National Team assistant coach Marni Abbott-Peter:
“The Sr. Women’s National Team got off to a great start today on the road to the 2012 London Paralympic games. We arrived in the Netherlands yesterday for a pre-paralympic tournament, playing four of the teams we will meet in the round-robin at the Paralympics: The Netherlands, Mexico, Great Britain and Australia. We are being hosted at the national Olympic and Paralympic training centre in Papendal, a fantastic facility which offers a variety of services to all of their high performance athletes.
Our first game today was against the Australian team. Canada got off to a great start, despite some fatigue from the travel. Our defense was outstanding, catching the Aussies off-guard with a very well-executed full-court press. Janet McLachlan led the team, scoring 15 points in the first quarter alone, as we finished the quarter up 19-15. We continued to apply pressure on the offensive end, as Cindy Oullet chipped in six points and Tracey Ferguson added four. We went into halftime with up 33-26.
In the second half, the Aussies were unable to penetrate Canada’s solid defence, and we continued to gap them. The final score was 61-46.
Bench scoring was led by Jamey Jewells, with six points on three for three shooting.
Australia was led by Cobi Crispin with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Tomorrow we will play Mexico in the morning and Great Britain in the evening.”
The Sr. Men’s National Team experienced similar success, easing past hosts, the Netherlands, 80-44.
More from Abbott-Peter:
“The Canadian men easily beat a young Netherlands team, as the Canadians platooned various line ups throughout the game and demonstrated their depth.”
In the words of men’s head coach Jerry Tonello:
“The Netherlands is a young and quick team. I was impressed with our level of play, given how far we travelled the day before, combined with little sleep through the night.”
Awaiting the Sr. Men is a strong Turkish side, one that will surely be looking to medal in London.