Led by Cindy Ouellet and her 35 points, the Canadian women’s team concluded the World Wheelchair Basketball Championship with a 64-62 victory Monday against the Australians.
The team led by coach Marni Abbott-Peter since April therefore finished fifth in the tournament presented in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This is the same result as those achieved at the 2018 Worlds and Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Like the day before against Spain, the Canadians were entitled to their revenge against a team that had defeated them in the preliminary phase.
The score was 32-32 at the half. The Australian players came back strong in the third quarter and built a 10-point lead in four minutes. The representatives of the maple leaf however replied to bring everyone back to equality, 46-46. Ouellet gave his team the lead with 36 seconds to go. She then managed a free throw and collected her tenth rebound at the very end of the game. The Quebecer also finished the game with seven assists.
Élodie Tessier also stood out in the victory by adding six points, two rebounds and three assists.
“It’s a very good feeling to win, we worked until the end and we got the result we wanted,” she said after the game.
In the preliminary phase, the Australians had won 68-64.
“We made some changes and focused on our defence. We performed well,” added Tessier.
Sandrine Bérubé and Sofia Fassi-Fehri also represented the country in Dubai.
The Canadian team will now prepare for the Parapan American Games which will take place in Santiago, Chile, next November. The country that wins this competition will also get its ticket to the Paralympic Games in Paris.
The Canadians were also playing for fifth place on the men’s side. They lost 67-56 against the Italians and finished sixth.
Italy had a lot of success in the first quarter, scoring 23 of their 67 points. Canada was unable to recover thereafter.
“We won the second and fourth quarters, lost the third by just two points, so we weren’t downgraded either. It just didn’t start well, but we still feel good,” shared Vincent Dallaire, who scored six points and three rebounds in 34 minutes of play.
“There are positives to remember today, but also for the whole tournament,” continued the Quebecer, who did not expect to finish sixth in the world.
“I didn’t feel like we were ready, but we played really well. Everyone took their game up a notch and it made for some good matches. »
Jonathan Vermette also wore the colors of Canada at the World Championships.
Head coach Matteo Feriani has been in the Canadian camp for six years. The team finished twelfth at the last World Championship in 2018 and then placed eighth at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
A constant progression which bodes well according to Vincent Dallaire.
“We’re on the right track!” The games we lost, we were not dominated and the score was relatively tight. For us, it’s a good tournament in general. We still have things to work on, but we are heading in the right direction with a view to the Paris Games. »