Rollers hand Netherlands first loss in Game 2

Rollers hand Netherlands first loss in Game 2

The Australian Rollers have handed the Netherlands wheelchair basketball team the first defeat of their Australian tour, accounting for them 58-55 in a thrilling second game of the Tri Series Tournament this afternoon at the AIS Training Hall in Canberra.

The Australian Rollers took a 9 point lead into the final term before a furious finish from the visitors saw the deficit reduced to just 2 points, before Australia eventually held on.

The Netherlands went into the game undefeated on their tour of Australia thus far, having defeated the NSW Institute of Sport, the Wollongong Roller Hawks and the Nova Employment Razorbacks in their week long Sydney training camp.

The Australian Rollers began the tournament with an 87-44 victory over South Africa earlier in the day.

The Netherlands took an early lead in the game edging ahead of the Rollers after the first quarter 16-13, before the Rollers steadied and through impressive defence, and a three-point bomb from Tristan Knowles, held the visitors to 8 points in the second term taking a 26-24 lead at halftime.

The Rollers threatened to finally break the game open to begin the third term with a 10-2 scoring run to start the quarter, but the Netherlands held strong, reducing the deficit once more, before a final surge from Australia pushed their lead out to 9 points at three quarter time.

In a thrilling final term the Netherlands brought the deficit back to 2 points midway through, with both sides trading baskets before a Justin Eveson free throw in the final minute gave the Rollers a three point lead that the Netherlands could not overcome.

After top scoring in the Rollers first game of the day, Tristan Knowles again led the way for Australia with 22 points. He connected on 10 of his 13 field goal attempts including both of his three-point attempts. He also had 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Justin Eveson added an impressive 17 points.

The Netherlands Australian based player Koen Jansens continued his strong form from last week’s games, leading the way for his country with 18 points, while Paul Toes added 9 points and Mustafa Jebari 8 points.

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