Canada’s wheelchair basketball squads on track for the worlds
Canadian women and men have qualified for the 2018 wheelchair basketball world championships after strong showings at the Americas Cup qualifying event in Cali, Colombia.
The Canadian women wrapped up a perfect week by defeating the U.S. 82-56 in the final Tuesday night. The Americans were the Rio Paralympic champions. It was Canada’s second win in a week over the U.S. squad and it establishes Canada as one of the favourites to defend the world title it won in 2014.
Captain Cindy Ouellet of Quebec City, who has put her doctoral studies in biomechanical engineering on hold to play for Canada and promote Paralympic sports, led Canada with 35 points, while Arinn Young of Legal, Alta., had 15 points and seven rebounds. Rosalie Lalonde of St-Clet and Kady Dandeneau of Pender Island, B.C., each scored 11.
The Canadian men came up short in their final against the U.S., dropping a 54-50 decision Wednesday, but they had previously qualified for the world championships by reaching the semifinals. Canada finished the tournament with a 6-1 record, while the U.S. was unbeaten in seven games.
Patrick Anderson, a wheelchair basketball legend who returned to international competition after a five-year absence, led Canada with 23 points, while Nikola Goncin added 11. Steve Sperio led the U.S. with 22 points and Jacob Williams had 11.
Team Canada at the IWBF Women’s American Cup of Wheelchair Basketball in Cali, Colombia. Canada won the tournament, the United States was second and Brazil third.