Rollers end Dutch leg of Euro tour undefeated

Rollers end Dutch leg of Euro tour undefeated

The Australian Rollers men’s national wheelchair basketball team continue their winning form on their tour of Europe, rounding out the Dutch leg with back-to-back wins over The Netherlands this week.

Coming off a win over The Netherlands on Monday, the Rollers were met with a very physical opposition in their Tuesday fixture, with the Dutch team trying put the visitors off their game.

The Rollers, the defending IWBF World Champions, wasted no time putting daylight between themselves and the hosts, leading 22-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Netherlands fought their way back into contest in the second term, reducing the Rollers lead to five points.

A refocused Rollers team took back control of the contest after the main break, running out comfortable 69-54 winners at the final buzzer. The Roller found outstanding production from their bigs, with Justin Eveson (15 points), Adam Deans (14 points) and Tristan Knowles (12 points) leading the charge.

Australian Rollers Head Coach Ben Ettridge was pleased with his team’s performance in tough conditions.

“We faced a much more physical game today from the Dutch and I was really pleased with the way we handled it,” Ettridge said.

“The team worked hard on adding in some new set plays and I was really pleased with our execution in the heat of battle.”

This form continued on Wednesday as the Rollers rounded out a successful tour of The Netherlands, defeating the home country 71-50 to make it four wins in four games.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Rollers, with the Dutch leading 37-36 at half time. Eager to end the first section of the tour without a blemish in their copy book, the Rollers put on the defensive clamps after the main interval.

The Dutch could manage just 13 points in two quarters as the Rollers regained the ascendency and cruised to a comfortable victory.

Ettridge said the professional performance of his team was a highlight after a busy start to the tour.

“I was really pleased with a hard fought 40 minutes from the team,” Ettridge said.

“I felt the guys have responded well to the four games in four days. This is a tribute to the support staff and also the guys themselves in sticking to our processes.

“Our defensive effort and conviction was much better. We spoke about what is expected and they delivered on the court.”

The Rollers now head to Belgium where they will face Italy, Great Britain and Canada in tournament play.