The Australian Rollers have defeated Iran by 12 points in the 2019 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Asia-Oceania Championship semi-final to secure themselves a spot in the gold medal match later today (7 December).
The first quarter was a physical encounter, with each team extending their defence and increasing their chair contact. Shaun Norris was making an early offensive impact, the speed was elite from both teams, and the post-up shooting from the Iran side was impressive and hard to guard. The Rollers led 20-17 at the end of first quarter.
The second was a very similar battle from both teams, with CJ McCarthy-Grogan bringing impact off the bench to the contest with a quick-fire seven points. Norris was still making an impact in offence, with Luke Pople, Jannik Blair and Bill Latham supporting. The Rollers won the quarter 20-18, setting up a five-point margin at half-time.
Iran stepped up in the third quarter, with the Rollers finding it tough on the offensive – and scoring support proved to be challenging. After a handful of intentional and technical fouls, the Australians led 56-52 at the last break.
Norris was still setting the pace, with 23 points, while Tom O’Neill-Thorne chipped in 21.
Latham returned to the court with four fouls to rest McCarthy-Grogan and help close the big show out, and the Australians took the semi-final 77-65.
The Rollers will now compete for a gold medal against South Korea at 18:30 AEDT. You can watch the game live via the IWBF’s YouTube channel.
|Results – 2019 IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships
|Semi-final||First Quarter||Half-time||Third Quarter||Full-time|
By Basketball Australia
Photo with thanks to MSSP Michael Schwartz / Uli Gasper