Title favourites Netherlands avenged their men’s counterpart’s loss defeating USA 72-65 in the first women’s semi-finals and entered their second consecutive finals at the IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships here.
The Netherlands, the Paralympic, World and European champions, were led by Mariska Beijer’s double-double (32 points, 19 rebounds). Their top player Bo Kramer contributed too with 21 points.
“We did a good job in the first half as we were leading by 14. But the game is of 40 minutes, after rotation and stuff the gap was reduced. That wasn’t good. We have work to do before the finals,” said Netherlands head coach Gertjan Van Der Linden.
“We are the favourites. We are focused now on finishing well at these Championships. Every game we must give energy and to play better and better. Other teams are coming up so we must work harder to beat them,” he added appreciating the support staff in building up a team that had newcomers from their Academy back in the Netherlands.
Bo added: “There was a lot of pressure in the match. In the first half, we played amazing basketball. Third quarter, it was an even game and they played more aggressive. We didn’t finish the balls as easy as we did in the first half. Four quarter, they played with strong offence. We did a lot of things and didn’t stick to our plans.
“We know what we can do. We need to focus on our defence,” she added of the final.
China in 1st Worlds final
The Netherlands will take on China who beat Germany in a thrilling second women’s semi-finals and make it to their first ever Worlds final.
Egged on by a vociferous crowd, China, the Paralympic silver medallist, overcame an equally strong German side 49-45 in a nail-biting last match of the day.
Xuemei Zhang’s double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) spurred China to finish on top overcoming a poor second quarter.
USA 65 vs. Netherlands 72
China 49 vs. Germany 45