Rollers into third-straight Gold Medal Game

Rollers into third-straight Gold Medal Game

The Australian Rollers have overcome a determined USA to reach keep the dream of back-to-back Paralympic Gold Medals alive, winning their Semi Final 72-63 at the 2012 London Paralympic Games this morning.

BOXSCORE

In a nail-biting finish the Rollers were given an almighty scare when the American closes within three points with just over a minute remaining in the game.

However, fears were cast aside as Victorian Jannik Blair came up big when it mattered; nailing a turnaround lay-up under extreme pressure with less than a minute on the clock to send the lead back out to five points and kill off the American momentum.

The Rollers now move on their third consecutive Gold Medal Game where they will face Canada on the third consecutive occasion, hoping to take a 2-1 advantage after splitting the past two Paralympic finals.

Justin Eveson continued his amazing tournament, dropping a game-high 21 points (along with 10 rebounds and 7 assists) including the final two free throws to ice the game. Rollers captain Brad Ness 16 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, while Shaun Norris was again a standout with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists in the nine-point win.

It was a great start to the game from the Rollers as they raced to a 12-4 lead that was extended to 18-8 at the end of the first period, before the Americans fought their way back into the contest.

The lead was cut to four points at the main interval, but was back out to seven come the final change as the composed Rollers continued to hold their opponents at bay.

This composure was tested to the full extent as the Americans through everything at the Australians in a tough and physical final quarter, getting within three points with a shade over a minute remaining in the contest.

With the momentum firmly in the American corner, it was Blair who came up big when it mattered most finishing a Ness feed to send the lead back to five. Late free throws from Norris iced it late as the Rollers secured a spot in Sunday morning’s (AEST) Gold Medal Game.

The Australian Rollers take on Canada for the men’s wheelchair basketball Gold Medal at the 2012 London Paralympic Games at 6:15am AEST on Sunday morning.