The Gliders missed two key players who were unfortunately deemed ineligible to compete, but despite the late setback they made the most of the opportunities they were given. Having not qualified for the Rio Paralympics the girls were keen to prove themselves however with a lack of international games since 2019 and with quality opposition, a win was hard to come by.
Amber Merritt in her second Paralympics showed her experience featuring in the scoring for all games including a game high 27 points against Germany. Merritt clocked up her 200th appearance for the Gliders against Great Britain, an incredible achievement for the former swimmer who first joined the Gliders in 2009. First time Paralympian Georgia Munro-Cook took to the court with ease firing off consistent scoring with 16 points against Japan, 14 against Germany and 16 against Great Britain.
Merritt said following the loss to Canada “the Gliders came out and focused on what they needed to focus on. Unfortunately, we haven’t been at our fullest potential the last few games so it was really important to focus on what we could control and take care of our own backyard.”
“We knew this tournament wasn’t going to be easy, and whilst we went in with little expectations, there was hope that the efforts of the past 18 months would have put us in a better position then where we are. With such a new young team we will take the time to rebuild, that’s what’s important now. We will make the appropriate changes back home in our DTE’s to ensure we get fitter, faster and stronger as a unit.”
Coach Craig Friday said “we had a solid first 20 minutes against Canada in which we executed some good basketball at both ends of the floor. I walked into the changeroom at the half quite happy with the effort and execution we played with.”
“Our second half we let ourselves down by not revisiting the standards we had set in first. That is the story of the week for our Gliders squad unfortunately, we have been inconsistent. This has been great exposure for our young developing but inexperienced group. We played some okay basketball at times, but the reality is we have a long way to go to be competitive on the international stage at these big events.”
“We need to continue to work hard here and finish off strong against Algeria in a few days time, and leave Tokyo on a positive note for the young athletes.”
The teams through to the Quarter Finals are Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Japan, Canada, USA, China and Great Britain. The Gliders will play their final game of the tournament against Algeria.
GLIDERS FINAL SCORES
V Japan 47-73
V Germany 58-77
V GB 38-75
V Canada 37-76
From the Stats Desk-Gliders
|V JPN||Merritt||18 points||4 assists|
|Munro-Cook||16 points||3 assists|
|V GER||Merritt||27 points||6 assists|
|Munro-Cook||14 points||5 assists|
|V GBR||Munro-Cook||16 points||3 assists|
|Merritt||14 points||3 assists|
|V CAN||Merritt||21 points||3 assists|
|Vinci||8 points||2 assists|