GERMANY TAKES 2-1 LEAD HALFWAY THROUGH INTL. SERIES AGAINST GLIDERS

GERMANY TAKES 2-1 LEAD HALFWAY THROUGH INTL. SERIES AGAINST GLIDERS

The Australian Gliders are locked in a competitive friendly international series against Germany at Basketball Australia's Centre of Excellence with the visitors taking a 2-1 lead with three games remaining.

In preparation for the 2018 IWBF World Championships later this year which will be held in Hamburg, Germany from August 14-27, both teams will be pleased with their performances so far with all three games tightly contested.

On Sunday afternoon in Game 1, Germany pulled away on the back of a 29-16 second half after Australia led by four points just before half-time.

The number two ranked team in the world utilised a 16-4 advantage in points off turnovers and also out-scored the Gliders 42-22 in the paint.

“It was our defense that let us down today, and the learning is that we need to hit chairs,” Gliders head coach Gould told the Australian Paralympic Team.

“We need to be more physical. The Germans are really physical and we fell away from that physicality and we have to make sure we do that typical Australian thing where we fight and fight until the end.

“Cobi [Crispin] did a really good job for us (12 points, eight rebounds), also Leanne [Del Toso] came off the bench and shot really well (eight points), and Kylie [Gauci] too.

"It’s been more than two years since her last international basketball game. Back when I played, I can tell you from experience, it can take a while to get back into it but she got the job done today.”

The following day, the Gliders came out with a strong intent to reverse the Game 1 result and their defence led them to a 13-point victory as they scored more than half of their total from turnovers.

"Today we took Germany out of their comfort zone,” Gould said.

“We forced them into 25 turnovers. That’s 25 times they didn’t get a shot up and the Gliders are a great team when we play our physical contact defence."

Crispin again impressed with a double-double of 12 points, ten rebounds and three steals while Amber Merritt came off the bench to top-score with 17 points.

In addition, Gauci and Clare Nott recorded three assists each with Nott also collecting three steals and Shelley Chaplin finishing with three points, two assists and two steals.

That set up an intriguing Game 3 on Tuesday and while the Gliders knew Germany would come out with a point to prove, they held firm against an early onslaught to reduce the margin to just three at half-time.

However, Germany's tight defence eventually got the better of the Aussies, holding them to 29% shooting in a 58-41 win to take a 2-1 series lead.

Annabelle Lindsay saw her first court time for the Gliders and immediately made an impact, top-scoring with 14 points while Crispin (seven points, four assists) and Georgia Munro-Cook (four points, seven boards) also shone.

Despite the loss, Australia have the chance to bounce back as they did after Game 1 with the fourth game of the series set for tip-off at 10am AEST on Wednesday.

“Our expectation is to be the best team in the world but we know we have a long way to go and a lot of work to do," said Gould.

"We ticked the first box by qualifying for the World Championships and we have to keep at it and sticking to the process."

Every game of the international series against Germany will be available via the CoE's LiveStreaming service, PlaySight here.

The Australian Gliders Schedule for the International Series vs. Germany (all times AEST):

Game 1: Gliders def. by Germany 36-53
Game 2: Gliders def. Germany 52-39
Game 3: Gliders def. by Germany 58-41
May 23 at 10.00amLive Stats
May 24 at 2.30pmLive Stats
May 25 at 2.30pmLive Stats

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