Sachs is back as Rollers clean sweep Great Britain

Sachs is back as Rollers clean sweep Great Britain

Australian Wheelchair basketball legend and Paralympic Gold Medalist Troy Sachs made a brilliant return to international basketball last night, leading the Australian team to a 68-60 victory over Great Britain at Bankstown Basketball Stadium in Sydney and a 4-nil clean

Australian Wheelchair basketball legend and Paralympic Gold Medalist Troy Sachs made a brilliant return to international basketball last night, leading the Australian team to a 68-60 victory over Great Britain at Bankstown Basketball Stadium in Sydney and a 4-nil clean sweep in the series.

Sachs top scored for the Rollers with 19 points and added 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in his 23 minutes on court in his first game for Australia since the 2005 World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Korea, where he suffered a serious shoulder injury.

Sachs burst onto the international scene at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona as the youngest Australian team member, aged 16. Four years later at the Atlanta Paralympics he blew the athletic world away when he scored a world record 42 points and steered Australia to a Gold Medal victory. His scoring record has now stood firm for over a decade.

The Rollers eight point win follows strong twenty-six and fourteen point victories in the opening two games in Perth last week and their hard fought, series clinching 69-67 win at Shellharbour on Wednesday night.

“We did a lot of good things during this series and came away with four strong victories, so we are very happy,” Rollers head coach Ben Ettridge said.

“People came in and out of the squad this series and the great thing was we didn’t lose any of the intensity or fight that we pride ourselves on, so it is a credit to those guys to come back in and perform at the level they did straight away.

“Everything is working for us at the moment and although we would like to find things that aren’t working and work on them, we are very level across the board.”

Powerful Rollers captain Brad Ness added 12 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while forward Tristan Knowles had 12 points and 4 rebounds in support of Sachs.

Forward Simon Munn scored a game high 23 points to go with 9 rebounds to lead Great Britain.

The Rollers surged to 12-2 lead in the first term before Great Britain responded with late baskets to trail 12-8 at quarter time.

Both teams were starved of baskets in a tight second quarter until the Rollers pulled away late to lead 26-18 at halftime.

Ness and Sachs seamlessly worked off each other in the third term, combining for 15 of the Rollers 26 quarter points to extend the Australians advantage to eighteen points at three quarter time, 52-34.

Great Britain cut the Rollers lead to six points midway through the fourth quarter on the back of seven straight points from captain Jon Pollock before great team play from the Rollers sealed a well earned win, 68-60.

With the return of Sachs and 2004 Athens Paralympian Grant Mizens, head coach Ettridge was able to rest key player Justin Eveson for the game. He scored 31 points in Wednesday night’s series clinching win at Shellharbour.

The Rollers’ next stop on their road to Beijing will be a training camp in September at a location to be determined.

Australia 68 - Sachs 19, Knowles 12, Ness 12 def
Great Britain 60
- Munn 23, Pollock 13, Price 11