In one a great day for Australian wheelchair basketball, the Gliders recorded a thrilling 40-39 win before the Rollers held on late to advance 72-63, exacting revenge for the Americans victories over the Boomers and Opals at the Olympic Games less than a month ago.
It was an edge-of-your-seat thriller in the women’s Semi Final as the Gliders appeared to have surrendered a 10-point lead, and a shot at Gold, before Clare Nott scored a clutch late bucket to give her team a one-point lead, and ultimately the win.
The Rollers received their biggest scare of the tournament, with the USA getting within three points with less than a minute on the clock before Jannik Blair nailed a brilliant turnaround hook shot to ice the game and ensure his team advances to their third straight Gold Medal Game.
Basketball Australia CEO Kristina Keneally praised the efforts of both teams and said she looks forward to cheering them to Gold over the weekend.
“To have our men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams playing off for a Paralympic Gold Medal in London is simply an amazing feat,” Ms Keneally said.
“For the Gliders, this is a chance to win their first Gold Medal, so let’s hope they can carry the momentum from that amazing Semi Final win over the USA into the final against Germany.
“Defending Paralympic champions, the Rollers have a chance to win back-to-back Gold Medals, becoming only the third country to achieve the rare feat.
“It has been a memorable tournament for both teams. Australia will be cheering them on in the finals and hoping they return home proudly wearing gold.”
The Australian Gliders will have their shot at a first Paralympic Gold Medal tomorrow morning at 6:15am AEST on ABC1, where they will face pre-tournament favourites Germany.
The Australian Rollers’ shot at back-to-back Paralympic Gold Medals takes place on Sunday morning at 6:15am AEST on ABC1, where they come up against Canada.
For all the latest news and results from the Rollers and Gliders journey to Gold visit www.basketball.net.au and follow it all on Twitter @BasketballAus @AussieRollers @AusGliders.