After an opening day victory over Japan, the Gliders – the Australian women’s wheelchair basketball team – have maintained that winning feeling on the back of two convincing performances against Thailand and China.
The Gliders made light work of the host nation on Saturday in Bangkok, recording a crushing 70-19 victory, with Kathleen O’Kelly-Kennedy posting 19 points (11 rebounds) to lead all scorers and Amber Merritt posting 15 points in the one-sided win.
China were the next team to fall to the Glidvers, going down 67-25 to the Paralympic silver medallists on Sunday. It was another impressive display by the Gliders, rushing to a 23-8 lead at the first change.
The domination continued for the next three quarters as the Chinese were unable to find a way through the dominant Gliders defensive pressure. Sarah Stewart top-scored for the Gliders with 14 points (and six rebounds), while Amber Merrit added 11 points and six rebounds.
The big wins weren’t just restricted to the Gliders, as the Australian Rollers – the men’s wheelchair basketball team – dominated Kuwait to record an emphatic 111-23 victory on day two of the tournament.
After a succession of slow starts, the Rollers enjoyed their best first quarter performance of the tour, taking a 25-3 lead over Kuwait and going on to post at least 25 points in each quarter of the game.
Adam Deans, Michael Auprince and Tristan Knowles led the Rollers scoring, with 18 points each, while Luke Pople stuffed the stat sheet on 17 points, nine assists and four rebounds.
Sunday saw the Rollers face host nation Thailand, easily accounting for their opponents 94-24 to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament and add another impressive points tally to their total.
It was a complete four-quarter performance from the Rollers, impressing in the opening quarter to lead 22-11 at the first break, before putting on the defensive clamps to reduce the hosts to just 13 points for the remainder of the game.
Brad Ness celebrated his birthday in style, scoring 19 points to go with six rebounds, while Justin Eveson (18 points and eight rebounds), Shaun Norris (14 points, six rebounds and four assists) and Bill Latham (11 points and four assists) joined in on the festivities.
Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand will be out to upset the Rollers as the two Oceania teams meet on day four of competition today, while the Gliders begin their second phase of their group games against Thailand.
For all the latest news and results from the 2013 IWBF Asia-Oceania Zone Championships, be sure to visit the BA website at www.basketball.net.au.