The Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team played perhaps their best game of the year on Saturday, but it was not enough to take down Germany in the bronze medal game of the Dutch Battle international tournament.
Germany — the gold medalist at the 2012 Paralympics in London — edged Canada 58-57 at the Almeerse Sport Club Waterwijk in Almere, Netherlands.
This narrow one-point loss is a vast improvement over how Canada has fared against Germany in prior Paralympic tune-up contests. The German team won the previous three on-court showdowns by at least 13 points — this includes a 52-37 triumph earlier this week.
Basketball fans watching this game were treated to a tight battle featuring multiple lead changes between the two teams.
After opening the second half of the game with the score tied at 28, the Canadian women managed to edge in front 36-34. Germany, however, clawed back and took a 44-40 lead.
Canada took a 49-48 lead with under six minutes remaining in the game, but once again Germany responded. The Canadians got within a point of their rival with 25.6 seconds left. They never got a chance to make another shot as the Germans maintained possession of the ball until the buzzer sounded to end the match.
The Canadians posted a 0-3 record in the round robin stage before losing to the host team 65-54 in the semi-final round of this four-team tourney
Later on Saturday, the Netherlands won the gold medal by defeating Great Britain 56-40.
There will only be one day of rest for this Canadian squad. They will be participating in the Women’s 2016 Continental Clash starting in Worchester, Great Britain on Monday. This four-team battle will be the final exhibition tournament for the Canadian ladies before the Rio Paralympics.
Canada’s Continental Clash schedule is as follows:
- Mon., Aug. 1, 4:45 a.m. EST vs. Germany
- Tues., Aug. 2, 2:15 p.m. EST vs. Great Britain
- Wed., Aug. 3, 7 a.m. EST vs. Netherlands
- Thurs., Aug. 4, 5 a.m. EST – Bronze medal game
- Thurs., Aug. 4, 7:15 a.m. EST – Gold medal game
Photo Credit: Canadian Paralympic Committee