Maddie Thompson has called on her side to play ‘the GB way’ after a frustrating 54-48 loss against Japan made it back-to-back women’s wheelchair basketball defeats at Tokyo 2020.
Japan led 25-21 after a tight opening two quarters before pulling away to establish a 12-point advantage by the end of the third and even a strong fourth quarter couldn’t stop ParalympicsGB slipping to a second loss in as many days in Group A.
And Thompson was keen to emphasise the need to refocus ahead of Friday’s clash against Germany, with quarter-final qualification still in their own hands despite defeat to Japan following Thursday’s loss to Canada.
She said: “Let’s go and play the GB way. We need to go in with laser-like focus into the game tomorrow, we really need to be positive in our shots and who are.
“I think after two losses, the team is really feeling that sad ache in our hearts, every athlete knows that feeling of when you wanted to win, but you get a loss.
“It really is now about how the co-captains come together to refocus the group.”
Helen Freeman led the way for ParalympicsGB with 14 points, while Laurie Williams contributed five assists at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.
A tight first quarter, which included seven points for Amy Conroy, saw the sides locked at 12-12 before the host nation took control in the second – culminating in Amane Yanagimoto putting them 23-13 ahead at one stage.
ParalympicsGB did fight back to within four by half-time, as Williams inspired the World Championship silver medallists, but Ikumi Fujii’s hot streak helped Japan to a commanding 41-29 lead ahead of the final period of play.
Freeman refused to accept defeat, scoring eight points and recording an assist in the fourth to get ParalympicsGB back in the game but Mayo Hagino’s two-pointer two minutes from time all but ended British hopes of a victory as they fell 54-48.
Image courtsey: imagecomms