It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Gliders, suffering a 47-44 loss to The Netherlands on Friday, finishing the Toronto Challenge – the test event for the 2014 IWBF Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships – with two wins and two defeats.
After a narrow loss to the Canadians on Thursday, the Gliders came from a double-digit deficit early in the final quarter to almost snatch victory over the Europeans, having to settle for their second defeat of the tournament.
Cobi Crispin again led on the scoresheet, posting a team-high 12 points and found support in the form of Bridie Kean, who had 10 points.
The team was able to end the tournament on a high note, claiming an impressive victory over Canada, with Gliders Head Coach Tom Kyle praising the team’s improved performance.
“It was an excellent outing by the girls, who finally started to show what they can do when they are fresh and not suffering the effects of jet lag,” Kyle said.
“I was particularly impressed by our defensive press, which restricted Canada to just eight points in the third quarter, which is a brilliant effort by the team.
“This was the perfect ending to the first leg of our tour and will certainly give the girls the confidence to take on Japan and the USA next week in Alabama.”
Such was the improved defensive efforts of the Gliders, Canada’s impressive 57% shooting in their first meeting was slashed to 37%.
Kean continued her impressive offensive output in Toronto, posting a team-high 15 points in the low-scoring win, finding support in Amber Merritt (10 points).
The depth of the Gliders was another aspect that impressed Kyle, with the Australian bench outscoring the hosts 20-0.
Next stop on the tour for the Gliders is the Alabama in southern USA, with team to face host nation USA and Japan in a six-game round-robin tournament starting on Wednesday.