Canada next up for Bywater’s Britain
8:00am Thursday 6th September 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
TERRY Bywater booked his place in today’s wheelchair basketball semi-finals – but knows the world’s best player is blocking his path to a shot at gold.
Great Britain have won bronze at the last two Games but are hitting form after a slow start to the tournament, edging past in-form Turkey 75-70 in a closely-fought quarter-final.
Canada – who beat Great Britain 70-54 in the group stages – are next up and their star man Patrick Anderson, who scored 29 points in that match, is the big threat.
However, in contrast, Canada are targeting Middlesbrough’s Bywater as their big worry after he bagged 23 points against Turkey, including four nervelesss free throws in the dying seconds when only one point separated the teams.
But Bywater insisted the hosts had nothing to fear after their fourth straight win.
“That game showed what we are all about, when we were under pressure we kept together as a team and it was a very professional job,” said Bywater.
“We’re pushing and pushing and finishing these games with absolutely nothing left. We’ve got to work on recovery and then came back strong.
“We’ve got some inexperienced guys in this team that are playing their first semi-final at the Paralympics but we’ve got some wise heads too and that’s a big advantage.
“No team is about one player, no matter how good Patrick Anderson is. The guy is a superstar. He averages 25-30 points a game but if we can contain him then we’ve got a genuine chance.
“Some of the basketball we’ve shown in the last four days has proven that we are world beaters. There aren’t many teams that can contend with us and long may that continue.”
Coach Murray Treseder is delighted with the spirit his team have shown since their opening defeats to Germany and Canada.
And he believes his side are now the form team in the tournament, dubbing the partisan crowd at the North Greenwich Arena as their ‘sixth man’.
“Turkey are a great team who we’ve been struggling to beat recently but we executed our plan perfectly,” he said.
“It’s a hell of a win for us and we’re getting better and better as this tournament goes on.
“We had a poor game against Canada and we know we are better than that and we’re looking forward to proving it.
“Anderson is a world-class player and he was dominant in that game.
“But he’s had the occasional poor game in the past and when he does they struggle.
“We need to contain him but we can’t let other players get away for us, so it will be a big challenge.
“There is no pressure on us, this is just a tremendous opportunity for the guys to play in front of their home fans at their home Paralympics. It won’t happen again so I hope they seize it.”
In particular Treseder hailed the contribution of top scorer Bywater and veteran Jon Pollock.
“Terry is a true professional and the ball is in good hands with him,” he added.
“It’s been a long 17 months for Jon Pollock coming back after a serious injury.
“Maybe that bit of rest has been good for him because he had a big influence in that game.
“It bodes really well for the semi-finals that both of those players are doing so well.”