PREVIEW THE ROLLERS GROUP STAGE OPPONENTS IN RIO

PREVIEW THE ROLLERS GROUP STAGE OPPONENTS IN RIO

With under a week until the Rio Paralympic Games, take a look at who our Australian Rollers will face in the group stage.

Australia v Netherlands - 6:30am September 9 AEST
The Rollers will begin their campaign against the Netherlands who have qualified for the Paralympics for the first time since 2004.

They did compete at the 2014 World Championships where they finished 15th thanks to two late wins in the tournament against Algeria but in a recent meeting with Australia during the Continental Clash, the Rollers were 64-56 victors after leading by 16 points at three-quarter time.

Shaun Norris' three-point shooting was a major problem for the Dutch in that game and they will be doing a lot of work in defending the perimeter heading into the first game of the Paralympics.

Mustafa Korkmaz (classification 3.0) is a shooting guard and one of the Netherlands' most dangerous scorers, averaging 18.9 points at the World Champs while Robin Poggenwisch (3.0) and Mattijs Bellers (4.5) are stat-stuffers that can be dangerous in the paint.

Turnovers were a concern for the Rollers when they played each other in the Continental Clash but if they can control the ball, they should have too many offensive weapons for the Netherlands to contain.

Australia v Turkey - 1:15am September 10 AEST
The Rollers will have to be switched on from the start of the Paralympics with a heavy schedule, backing up 19 hours after their first game.

Turkey will have also played on Day 1 but will enjoy two hours extra rest coming into this clash after they qualified for Rio by finishing second in the European Championships.

These sides have a strong recent history against each other, finishing as the top two teams of their group stage at the 2012 Paralympics while also playing off in the Semi-Final of the 2014 World Champs.

That most recent game (which can be seen here) saw the Rollers win 63-58 behind a 16-2 advantage in second chance points as they won the offensive rebound count 15-3.

Trailing for a majority of the game and down by 13 points at three-quarter time, coach Ben Ettridge instilled a different offensive plan in the final term, instructing his players to take quick shots and push the pace of the game.

The strategy worked perfectly as the Rollers finish the contest with a 24-11 final quarter and they went on to win the World Champs gold medal.

Shaun Norris was almost unstoppable with 21 points but Ozgur Gurbulak (4.0) kept Turkey in it, recording a double-double of 19 points and 17 assists and as one of the teams rising through the ranks of international wheelchair basketball, Turkey will be a team to watch in Rio.

Australia v Canada - 4:15am September 11 AEST
A replay of the 2012 Paralympic gold medal should be Australia's toughest game but provides the perfect opportunity for redemption early in their 2016 campaign.

Canada finished second in the America zone to qualify for Rio, falling to the USA by 23 points and they also lost to the Rollers in the recent Continental Clash by 18 points.

Tristan Knowles was outstanding in that meeting, recording 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists while Bill Latham provided a punch off the bench with ten points.

The Canadian's top performer was Nik Goncin (4.5) who tallied 18 points but it will be interesting to see how Canada fare without arguably their best ever player, Patrick Anderson, who led his country to three gold medals since 2000.

Australia v Spain - 10:30pm September 11 AEST
Spain will be competing in just their fourth Paralympics but for the first time in their history, they have reached consecutive Games after finishing fifth in 2012.

They earned the final spot in the European qualifiers, beating Italy in a tense 86-55 affair.

The Rollers defeated Spain in the group game four years ago, winning 75-59 as Norris scored a game-high 25 points.

Asier Garcia Pereiro was the standout for the Spanish side with 23 points and six rebounds and after debuting in London, could be set for an even bigger tournament this year.

Australia v Japan – 2:30am September 13 AEST
The Rollers culminate the group stage with a clash against Japan who will also be playing their final game of the round robin.

They faced each other in the Asia Oceania qualifiers, with Australia easily succeeding in the Semi-Final, 70-41.

Knowles top-scored with 25 points while Hiroaki Kozai impressed for Japan with 16 points but Japan went on to beat Korea for the final Asia Oceania spot as Reo Fujimoto drilled 28 points.

Despite a slow night offensively, Australia surpassed Japan again recently in the Continental Clash, only shooting 38% in a 51-42 victory. Brett Stibners missed all seven of his shots but added nine boards and three assists while their team defence saved them, holding Japan to 30% shooting overall.