Rollers and Gliders win gold at 2013 IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships

Rollers and Gliders win gold at 2013 IWBF Asia-Oceania Championships

The Australian Rollers and Australian Gliders national wheelchair basketball teams are heading to the 2014 IWBF World Championships as the region’s best after winning the 2013 IWBF Asia-Oceania Zone Championships in Thailand last night.

In a brilliant performance by the Rollers and Gliders, both teams went through the tournament undefeated, tallying an impressive combined record of 15-0.

A brilliant second quarter performance from the Rollers set the tone for what would be a comfortable 74-60 victory over South Korea in the final, with Shaun Norris leading the charge with 22 points and eight rebounds, while Justin Eveson posted 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Australian Rollers Head Coach Ben Ettridge heaped praise on his team for their professionalism and killer instinct from the outset of the tournament.

“I couldn't be happier with where we are at right now, our execution and intensity was excellent and a credit to the players’ ability to stay locked in throughout games,” Ettridge said.

“Qualification for the IWBF World Championships was first and foremost in our minds and to do this is another great achievement for the team.”

It was a typically clinical performance by the Gliders as they easily accounted for China 57-35 in the women’s final, finishing the tournament with an outstanding 8-0 record.

The Gliders raced to a 10-2 lead and were never headed, going on to record a 22-point win and ensure they will go to next year’s World Championships in Canada as the region’s number one team.

Australian Gliders Head Coach Tom Kyle said while he was proud of his team’s efforts in Thailand, the journey to becoming the premier team in women’s wheelchair basketball begins now.

“To performance the way the team has off limited preparation is something I’m very proud of,” Kyle said.

“While it is pleasing to know that we have qualified for the 2014 World Championships in Toronto, there is still a lot of hard work ahead to work towards our goal of becoming the number one team on the planet.”

Basketball Australia would like to congratulate the Australian Rollers and Australian Gliders on winning the 2013 IWBF Asia-Oceania Zone Championships and qualifying for their respective World Championships in 2014.