Canada places third in pool A with 61-52 win over Brazil
- Canadian women (3-2) to play China (4-1) in quarter-finals Thursday
- Cindy Ouellet tied for game high with 26 points, while Kady Dandeneau had 18 points
(Hamburg, Germany) The Canadian Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team advanced to the quarter-finals at the 2018 World Championships after securing third place in pool A with a 61-52 win over Brazil on Wednesday in Hamburg. The quarter-finals get underway on Thursday, with Canada set to face China at 5:45 a.m. ET.
The win over Brazil proved to be a tight match as both teams looked to end pool play on a high note. With the score within two to three possessions for most of the game, Canada made a statement in the fourth quarter by outscoring Brazil 18-8 en route to victory.
“They were strong and our shots didn’t fall in the beginning, but once it started working and we changed our defence a little bit we figured it out,” said Cindy Ouellet (Quebec, Que.). “It was a little bit late, but better late than never.
“Obviously this win was important for the rankings, but just mentally this win was important right before a quarter-final. We know everybody here is a good team and we have to be ready to show up right from the first quarter.”
Ouellet tied for the game high with 26 points, while adding eight rebounds and five assists. Kady Dandeneau (Pender Island, B.C.) came off the bench to spark the offence with 18 points.
In the first quarter, the Canadians started off a little rocky as shots just wouldn’t fall in their favour. Canada went just two-for-eight from the floor in the first five minutes of play as the winless Brazilian team took an early 9-4 lead. Canada stuck with it and regained a one-point lead, 12-11, at the end of the first quarter.
The Canadians looked for an offensive spark in the second quarter, as the veteran Ouellet led the charge by scoring 12 of Canada’s 14 points in the frame to keep them in the game. At the half, Brazil held a 30-26 lead.
Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter with Ouellet gaining some offensive support from Arinn Young (Legal, Alta.) and Rosalie Lalonde (Saint-Clet, Que.). With the game still up for grabs, Canadian coach Marc Antoine Ducharme (Chambly, Que.) refreshed the lineup in search of a spark late in the third quarter. Heading into the final frame, Canada brought the score within one point, 44-43 for Brazil.
Dandeneau came up big off the bench in the final ten minutes, going seven-for-11 from the field, adding five rebounds, one assist and one steal to turn the tables on Brazil and give Canada the lead for the first time since the second quarter. After a couple of back-to-back baskets by Ouellet late in the quarter, Canada pulled away in the final two minutes to secure a decisive 61-52 win.
Round Robin Stat Summary
Canada finishes the opening round of play with a 3-2 record, placing them third in pool A. Canada ranks third overall in points for per game (62.8) and third overall in total points (314).
Among all players, Young has the second-highest points per game average (21.2), while Ouellet also ranks in the top ten scorers with 18.2 points per game. Young also holds a spot in the top ten for rebounds (8.8 rebounds per game) and is first overall in three-pointers per game (1.4). Ouellet and Lalonde both rank high in the assists column, averaging 4.8 and 4.6 assists per game respectively.
Canadians can watch the games live on the Wheelchair Basketball Canada and Canadian Paralympic Team Facebook pages and through CBC Sports at cbcsports.ca.
About the 2018 World Championships
The 2018 IWBF World Championships feature 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams vying for the world title as the top athletes in the game showcase the elite skill, pure athleticism and dynamic speed that allows wheelchair basketball to captivate audiences around the globe. The event is a catalyst for promoting inclusion and marks the largest world championship in the history of the sport and one of the largest international parasport events outside of the Paralympic Games.
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sport governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games.