The Aussies bounced back from a three-point loss, 50-47, to the host nation on Friday to trounce them 56-60 in the decider on Saturday.
The Gliders had beaten the USA comfortably but had also lost to Canada in the lead up to the championship game.
The result placed the Gliders one better than they did in 2008 when they finished second, falling to the USA in the final.
Gliders to play in Osaka Cup championship decider
20 February 2009
The Gliders will playoff for the championship at the Osaka Cup tomorrow in Japan.
The Australians lost to both Canada and host nation Japan on Thursday but their earlier win against the USA on Wednesday gave them enough to earn a spot in the final after finishing in a three-way tie for second place but their for-and-against put them above Canada and the USA.
The Gliders will face Japan again in the decider on Saturday at 3.30pm AEDT.
The Australian Gliders in the first of 2 games played today in Osaka were defeated by Canada 58/50. 48 year old 5 time Canadian Paralympian veteran Chantelle Benoit was the best performing Canadian with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Cobi Crispin for the Gliders played a brilliant game for Australia with 23 pts, 6 reb and 5 assists.
The Canadians led for all but 2 minutes of a very fast and physical game. The game was tight throughout with the Australian Gliders only taking the lead on one occasion in the third quarter. Canada opened up space on their offensive end with several import back picks in the backcourt. Australia's pressing defence kept them in the game but the Canadians experience came through.
Half Time: Canada 26 Australia 24
Full Time: Canada 58 Australia 50
Cobi Crispin 23 (6 rebounds), Bridie Kean 8, Sarah Stewart 6 (6 reb, 6 ass, 1 block)
Benoit 18, Feser 17, Mclachlan 13
AUSTRALIA vs JAPAN
The Australians backed up for their second game in 4 hours to face the host nation Japan for a potential spot in the final. Australia led at quarter time, 15/14, capitalizing on their pressing defence creating some transition baskets.
Japan, normally a force from the perimeter, were kept scoreless from the 3 point line for the entire game.
The Gliders combination of bigs including Bridie Kean, Kathleen O'Kelly-Kennedy and Cobi, Crispin kept Australia in the game until the start of the fourth quarter. Japan extended to an 11 point lead early in the fourth when the Gliders returned with Crispi , Gauci and Stewart to reduce the margin to 3 points with 1 minute to go. Australia forced Japan to win the game from the free throw line to make 3 in the last minute to seal the game.
Coach Triscari said "Australia's fighting spirit to reduce the final margin to 3 points has given us a great opportunity to reverse the result in tomorrow's final".
Australia now meets host nation Japan in the Final of the Osaka cup on Saturday 1:30pm (Osaka time). Australia won the right to play in the final coming out on top of a 3 way tie with Canada and the USA. Head coach John Triscari has told his players to be prepared for a fanatical Japanese home crowd in tomorrow's final.
Half time: 27 Australia/28 Japan
Fulltime: 47 Australia/50 Japan
Australia top scorers:
Cobi Crispin 16, Sarah Stewart 7, Bridie Kean 7
Japan top scorer:
Amimoto Mari 14
Gliders beat Paralmypic Champions at Osaka Cup
20 February 2009
The Australian Gliders defeated the Beijing Gold Medallists, USA, 57-38, in the Osaka Cup being played at the Osaka Municipal Gymnasium, Japan.
The Osaka Cup is the first outing for the Gliders since winning Bronze at the Paralympics in Beijing in September 2008 and was also the first game for new Head Coach, John Triscari.
The USA got off to a flying 8- 2 start before the Gliders launched an aggressive comeback on the back of pressing defence.
The USA targeted Glider Cobi Crispin allowing room for Kylie Gauci, Australia's dynamic point guard, to consistently pepper the scoreboard.
The second half saw the Gliders come out with a two-point lead and continued to control the tempo on both ends of the floor. USA's main scoring threat, Beijing Paralympian Becca Murray, was put on lock down by great team defence from the Gliders.
With Clare Burzynski getting into foul trouble late in the third quarter, the Gliders launched a different combination on the floor utilising a mid point line up. This was very effective in a full court press resulting in high percentage scoring opportunities.
Kylie Gauci top scored for the Gliders with 20 points.
Coach John Triscari said "given our limited preparation leading into this tournament, tonight's win is a small but important step towards our goal of Gold in 2012".
Tomorrow the Gliders will play Canada at 10am Osaka time followed by a game versus the host nation Japan at 1.30pm. The Gliders defeated Japan in the Bronze Medal game in Beijing.
Australia 57 USA 38
Australia 27 USA 25
Playoffs for the championship and minor places will be held on Saturday.
For the full schedule visit the Osaka Cup website.
Gliders land in Japan for Osaka Cup
18 February 2009
The Australian Women's Wheelchair Basketball team the Gliders arrived in Osaka, Japan today for the 2009 International Women's Wheelchair Basketball Friendship Games the Osaka Cup from February 19-21.
The Beijing bronze-medallists will pit themselves against Paralympic foes the United States and as well as the Japanese and Canadian teams that finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The Australians will meet the team that knocked them out of the Gold Medal game in Beijing, the USA, in their first game of the tournament on Thursday 19th.
The Gliders have to back up with two games on Friday, facing first Canada in the morning and then Japan in the afternoon.
The playoffs for third place and the championship will be held on Saturday.
The Gliders team for the Osaka Cup: Jessica Pellow, Cobi Crispin, Bridie Kean, Melanie hall, Tina McKenzie, Leanne Del Toso, Clare Burzynski, Kylie Gauci, Sarah Stewart, Katie Hill and Kathleen O'Kelly-Kennedy.