The Australian Rollers have selected their team for the 2019 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Asia-Oceania Championships, to be held in Pattaya, Thailand, from 27 November – 8 December.
The Championships will form the qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with three positions available after the automatic entry of host nation Japan.
The Rollers will be heading into the tournament having claimed bronze at the 2018 World Championships in Germany last year, defeating Iran by 11 points.
While it is an experienced group, with the likes of captain Shaun Norris, Bill Latham, Brett Stibners and Jannik Blair, there are also some new faces, with Jay Dohnt and CJ McCarthy-Grogan bringing a much needed energy and spark to complement the squad.
Australia has a proud legacy at the Asia-Oceania Championships, having never lost the tournament in its history.
Head Coach Craig Friday said he is looking forward to seeing the Rollers maintain their record at this event.
“The competition inside our own zone is better than it has ever been, and the challenge to defend our title has never been greater,” he said.
“Iran, Japan, Korea, Thailand and China all pose a different type of threat, with different playing styles across each team.
“We have made a few changes to the side since our previous tournament as we continue to look for our best line-up that gives us flexibility in combinations and the ability to play different tempos.
“The addition of another mid-point player will allow us to trial another two combinations in Thailand, to see if they can stand up against quality international teams.
“Our focus is to win, but we are well aware of the big picture too.”
The two greatest challenges for the Rollers are the impressive rise of Iran, and the speed and agility of Japan.
The Rollers will kickstart their Asia-Oceania Championships campaign against Korea on 30 November. All games will be livestreamed here.
|Australian Team – 2019 IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships|
|Michael Auprince||Perth Wheelcats||4.0|
|Jannik Blair||Red Dust Heelers||1.0|
|Jay Dohnt||West Adelaide Thunder||2.0|
|Bill Latham||Queensland Spinning Bullets||4.0|
|CJ McCarthy-Grogan||Sydney Metro Blue Hornets||4.0|
|Matt McShane||Queensland Spinning Bullets||1.5|
|Shaun Norris (Captain)||Perth Wheelcats||3.0|
|Tom O’Neill-Thorne||Queensland Spinning Bullets||3.0|
|Luke Pople||Wollongong Rollerhawks||2.5|
|Kim Robins||Perth Wheelcats||3.0|
|Brett Stibners||Wollongong Rollerhawks||4.0|
|Sam White||West Adelaide Thunder||1.0|
|Craig Friday||Head Coach|
|Brad Ness||Assistant Coach|
|Shane Furness||Technical/Specialist Coach|
|Priyanka Karunakaran||Team Manager|
|Schedule – 2019 IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships|
|30 November||Rollers v Korea||13:30|
|1 December||Rollers v Thailand||21:30|
|2 December||Rollers v Iran||17:30|
|3 December||Rollers v China||17:00|
|4 December||Rollers v Japan||21:30|
|5 December||Quarter-finals||20:00, 20:30, 22:00 and 22:30|
|6 December||Semi-finals||21:30 and 22:00|
|7 December||Medal games||17:30 and 18:30|
By Basketball Australia