Rollers hold off Turkey
The Australian Rollers men’s wheelchair basketball team have scored a 71-64 win over Turkey to remain undefeated in pool play at the London Paralympic Games.
After romping to a 54-point win against South Africa in their opening match, the Turks presented a far tougher proposition. Turkey upset the US in their opening game and actually led the Rollers by one point with 4:44 remaining in the match. Six points by Justin Eveson in the closing minutes helped seal the win.
Eveson finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the game, while Tristan Knowles equal top-scored with 17 points. Shaun Norris was also outstanding for the Australians with 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Ozgur Gurbulak was the star for Turkey with a game-high 20 points.
The Rollers started the game with a 4-0 run and looked confident but the Turks stayed close and Australia led by just two points at the first break, 17-15.
That margin had improved to four points at the half, as the Rollers led Turkey 39-35.
Both teams scored 16 points in the third period to keep the Rollers’ lead at four points at the final change, setting up an epic fourth quarter.
The Turks scored inside with 4:44 remaining in the game to give them their first lead of the game and seemed to have the momentum, but Knowles made a two inside the paint to recapture the lead for the Rollers on the next possession.
Eveson then returned from the bench to score six of his team’s final seven points to seal the win.
The victory sees Australia atop Group A with a perfect 2-0 record and sets up a huge clash against Spain, also undefeated, in their next pool game at 5:45AM Sunday morning Australian Eastern Standard Time.