PARALYMPICS LONDON 2012: Relief as Great Britain’s wheelchair basketball teams finally get first wins

BRITISH wheelchair basketball coach Murray Tresderer admitted a mix of happiness and relief as his side ended their losing streak at the Paralympics.

IMPROVED: Clare Strange played a key role as Great Britain’s wheelchair basketball women beat Brazil to keep alive hope of making the knockout stages at the London 2012 Paralympics

After defeats to Germany and Canada nothing less than a win would do against Colombia and they emerged confident 81-41 winners in a match they were always slated to win and win well.

Terry Bywater led the scoring with 21 points, including two scores from behind the three-point line, while Dan Highcock added 15.

“We finally turned up and played well,” said Treseder.

“We were disappointed with our performance against Canada so we asked them to improve on a number of areas and they went out and showed us what they could do.

“We have now established the standard we need to play at for the rest of the tournament.

“We have now established the standard we need to play at for the rest of the tournament. I was really pleased with the tempo we played at and the way we finished the game off.”

Britain’s wheelchair basketball women also boosted their medal hopes with their first win at the Paralympics.

After two defeats, Garry Peel’s side knew they had to beat Brazil and they edged a close-fought 42-37 victory that means a win over Canada will now put them in the knockout stages.

“It is indescribable,” said Louise Williams.  “After the performance in the last two games, it was long-awaited and I am so, so pleased.

“We were not nervous. We did a lot of mental preparation yesterday and we thought of this as our quarter-final. This is the big game and we went out there with confidence.

“I never have played in front of a crowd like that before and it was quite overwhelming. We used it for our benefit and it worked and in the end we were doing it for them.”

Peel had described the team’s 51-24 loss to Australia as ‘disgraceful’ and Williams said that had been the wake-up call they needed.

“You have to be realistic and he was realistic. There was no point pussy-footing around it,” she said.

“It needed to be addressed and he did addressed it and it was the right thing to do. We will never, never let that happen again because it was embarrassing.”