Team Canada is getting a prime opportunity to see how they match up against their women’s wheelchair basketball Paralympic rivals in a four-team international friendly tournament being hosted in Lake Placid, New York, from June 23-25 at the Olympic Training Center.
Ten of the 12 players on this Canadian team —officially named on May. 30 — were members of the Canadian lineup that won the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Toronto. Janet McLachlan (West Vancouver, B.C) led that Canadian squad in points, and is expected to have a major leadership role on this team.
Canada comes into this tournament as the No.1 ranked team in the world by virtue of winning the 2014 world championship. The Canadian club will tip off against Germany (No.2), the United States (No.4) and Great Britain (No.5). Every team in this tournament will play each other twice.
Germany, the silver-medalist of the 2014 Worlds, will aim to attain a measure of revenge against Canada at 9 a.m. EST on Thursday[[[[. Germany won the gold medal at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
Great Britain is Canada’s second opponent on Thursday. While the Canadians have enjoyed the upper hand in this rivalry over the past several years — they defeated the British team at both the 2010 and 2014 world championships — the match ups have been tightly contested. This showdown starts at 5 p.m.
A battle of North America at 9 a.m. will start day two of the competition. Team U.S.A ended Canada’s quest for gold at the 2012 Paralympics with a 67-55 win in the quarter finals.
The Canadian team will play its second game against Germany at 7 p.m. on Friday. On Saturday they take on Great Britain at 11 a.m., and the U.S. at 7 p.m.
There is no playoff round for this tournament. The team(s) that finishes ranked first in the standings will be declared the winner.
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Photo: Charles Gordon/ Canadian Paralympic Committee