Canada steal Gold playoff spot from Japan

Canada steal Gold playoff spot from Japan

Canada will meet Australia in the Gold Medal Game after overcoming Japan 63-59 in the final Preliminary Round game at the Rollers World Challenge at Sydney Olympic Park tonight.

Canada’s win relegated Japan and Great Britain to the Bronze medal decider.

Japan’s big man Reo Fujimoto nearly stole the show with 21 points and 18 rebounds but Canada held on to take the win by four points and earn their spot in the final.

As they had in their previous outings the Japanese got a lightning start to the game courtesy of a 10-0 scoring run with Paralympians Shingo Fujii and big man Reo Fujimoto leading the way for a 20-9 advantage at the first break.

The Canadians made up ground in the second quarter as they started to get position under the basket for rebounds and Adam Lancia came to life with eight points for the quarter. Japan still held on to a six point lead at halftime.

Both teams got fired up in the third term with a raucous cheer echoing around the stadium with each basket as the Japanese kept their nose in front with some sharp shooting. But after limited minutes in yesterday’s game Canada’s David Eng made up for lost time with five points and three steals in the third quarter to close the gap to just one point, 49-50 at the final break.

Canada stole the lead two minutes into the fourth quarter and had all the momentum as the Japanese started to tire. The teams went hard at each other and Japan was not going to let their chance for a first win slip away, but in the end the Canadians shot their way to victory in the final term.

Japan had the time to tie the game up with forty seconds remaining but a missed layup and gave possession to Canada and the clock ran down.

Japan and Great Britain will playoff for Bronze at 4.00pm tomorrow AEST. The Australian Rollers will take on Paralympic rivals Canada for the Gold at 6.00pm.

You can follow the Rollers World Challenge live at the venue – Buy Tickets, on ABC2, LIVESTATS or on the official Rollers World Challenge Website.

[Box Score]

Quarter by quarter:

1: JPN 20 CAN 9
H: JPN 34 CAN 28
3: JPN 50 CAN 49
F: CAN 63 JPN 59

CANADA 63 (David Durepos 12, Richard Peters 12, Adam Lancia 12) bt
JAPAN 59 (Reo Fujimoto 21, Tomomi Masubuchi 10)