The Australian Gliders and Rollers have put the finishing touches on their preparations for the 2018 IWBF World Championships, completing their warm-up series’ in Germany before the official tournament begins later this week.
Flying from Australia to Cologne for a Nations Cup tournament, the Gliders won three of their four games with two victories coming against Spain while they split their two games against host nation Germany.
The Gliders started with three consecutive victories, cruising against Spain as they won every quarter and coach David Gould was able to give consistent minutes to his entire roster with the likes of Amber Merritt, Cobi Crispin, Sarah Vinci and Annabelle Lindsay each notching double-figures in scoring.
Shelley Cronau and Kylie Gauci showcased their passing ability as well, helping the team to recorded 20 assists on 24 field goals in their first meeting with Germany before backing up with 28 assists on 30 field goals to defeat Spain in their second clash.
That game also saw the Gliders force 31 turnovers as they put together a strong performance at both ends of the court.
Unfortunately, Australia could not maintain their run in the final game of the tournament as one poor quarter of shooting doomed them against Germany, falling 60-67 after they were out-scored 12-23 in the last term.
Coach Gould was still pleased with the overall effort and took important learnings from the game which the Gliders can implement when their 2018 World Championship campaign begins Friday night Australian time.
The Rollers also took part in a Nations Cup tournament, defeating Korea and Japan to bookend a one-point loss to host nation Germany in the middle of their series.
Speaking on the tournament as a lead-in to the World Championships, coach Craig Friday was pleased with the Rollers’ performances.
“We played a feisty game against Korea and had great balance in minutes played,” Friday said.
“We then backed up against Japan where we were able to play with some different combinations that still maintained our early lead.
“It was disappointing to lose to Germany but we get a chance to learn a lot from the areas that we broke down in, especially so close to the Worlds.”
In addition to those games, the Rollers chalked up two more victories in friendlies against Korea as well as the Netherlands while assistant coach Brad Ness was able to enjoy a head coaching role as he took the reigns throughout Australia’s warm-up games.
Both national teams have now headed to Hamburg where the 2018 IWBF World Championships will be held and they will undertake their final practices before hitting the court for their first official games on Friday night.
The Australian Rollers and Gliders Schedule for the 2018 IWBF World Championships (all times AEST):
Friday August 17: Gliders vs. Brazil at 6.00pm
Friday August 17: Rollers vs. Argentina at 8.15pm
Saturday August 18: Rollers vs. Spain at 10.30pm
Sunday August 19: Gliders vs. Netherlands at 3.45am
Monday August 20: Gliders vs. Canada at 1.30am
Monday August 20: Rollers vs. Netherlands at 10.30pm
Tuesday August 21: Gliders vs. Great Britain at 4.15am
Tuesday August 21: Rollers Cross-over game
Wednesday August 22: Rollers Quarter-Final
Wednesday August 22: Gliders vs. Spain at 8.15pm
Thursday August 23: Gliders Quarter-Final
Friday August 24: Gliders Semi-Final
Friday August 24: Rollers Semi-Final
Saturday August 25: Gliders medal games
Sunday August 26: Rollers medal games