Rollers kick-start Rio campaign
Friday, 09 September 2016
The Australian men’s wheelchair basketball team has recorded a 70-50 win over the Netherlands in its first match at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
VIS athlete Tristan Knowles led the way for the Rollers, hitting 28 points with 12 rebounds as the Australians outscored their European rivals across all four quarters, to secure a 20 point win.
Entering competition as reigning world champion, the Rollers set a marker of intent early, slowing the Dutch scoring options, as Knowles began to make his presence felt at both ends of the court.
The Australians held a 10 point advantage at quarter time and managed to employ all 12 members on court by the main break, as regular substitutions allowed the group to maintain a high intensity throughout, as they closed in front at 37-25.
Mustafa Korkmaz kept Dutch hopes alive in the second half with an impressive shooting display. He scored 24 of the Netherlands’ total and had even threatened to cause an upset, as they closed to within five points during the fourth quarter.
Australia’s defence however, stood firm, keeping the Netherlands’ field shooting to 34% ensuring the Rollers would head into its Day 2 clash with Turkey, with a win under its belt.
The Rollers face Turkey at 1.15am (AET) on Day 2 from the Carioca Arena 1.