(TORONTO, ONT.) The Canadian Parapan Am Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team take home silver from the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games and qualify for Rio 2016 in the process. Canada concluded the tournament with five wins and one loss after the USA defeated them in the final 62-39.
The USA sprung out to an early lead and never looked back thanks in part to some sharp shooting by their veterans. After two quarters Canada trailed 40-16 and had difficultly finding their rhythm. At that point the USA was shooting 58% from the field compared to Canada’s 30%.
David Eng, of Montreal, Que. led the Canucks offence early on scoring 10-of-his-12 points in the first three quarters. Late in the game it was Nik Goncin, of Regina, Sask., that took over scoring all but four of his game high 17 points and 11 rebounds including three consecutive three-pointers late in the game.
“I’m really proud of my teammates to be able to fight that hard and never give up even though we were down by a lot. The crowd was amazing. Even though we were down, their energy showed that Canada was behind us and it just made us not give up and keep wanting to go more. I just can’t thank the fans enough,” said Eng.
Overall Eng and Goncin finished second and third in tournament scoring averaging 16.8 and 16.7 points respectively. Goncin also finished second in the tournament with 10 three-pointers through six games.
Congrats to team USA. Thanks we learned a lot today. We will meet again in RIO.
— David Eng (@The_Real_DENG) August 15, 2015
Bo Hedges, of Wonowon, B.C., led Canada with three assists in the game and 25 overall through six games. He finished fifth in the tournament in that category.
“We knew it’s going to be a tough game. They scored so many times, but our main goal was to qualify to Rio which we accomplished,” said Abdi Dini, of Scarborough, Ont.
“We have a really young team. Lots of our guys have never been in a gold medal game. I think it’s really a good experience for them and my whole team since we’re a young team. It’s really great for them to get that experience and to lose a gold medal, it’s going to give them energy to dig within themselves to get that extra motivation and get to that extra level to get ready for next year,” said Eng.
The gold medal game was seen live on CBC TV across the country.
— liam hickey (@liamhickey1998) August 15, 2015
Team Canada – Schedule & Results
Day 1 – Saturday August 8
Canada (women) 78 vs. Guatemala 18
Canada (men) 102 vs. Venezuela 27
Day 2 – Sunday August 9
Canada (women) 80 vs. Mexico 39
Day 3 – Monday August 10
Canada (men) 74 vs. Mexico 55
Day 4 – Tuesday August 11
Canada (women) 82 vs. Brazil 51
Canada (men) vs. Argentina
Day 5 – Wednesday August 12
Quarterfinal – Canada (men) 73 vs. Puerto Rico 34
Day 6 – Thursday August 13
Semifinal – Canada (women) 82 vs. Argentina 28
Day 7 – Friday August 14
Semifinal – Canada (men) 70 vs. Brazil 54
Gold medal game – Canada (women) 72 vs. USA 80
Day 8 – Saturday August 15
Men’s gold medal game – Canada (men) 39 vs USA 62
Don’t Miss A Second of the Action
Get social with Wheelchair Basketball Canada (@WCBballCanada) by using the hashtags #OneTeam #OneGoal to join the conversation and follow the Canadian Parapan Am Wheelchair Basketball Team Canada as they push for the podium and the chance to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games!
Fans can also follow the entire Canadian Paralympic Team (@CDNParalympics) as Team Canada competes on home soil or by using the hashtag #paratough.
All wheelchair basketball games are webcast live by CBC at www.cbc.ca/sports/parapanam