Canada's wheelchair basketball team falls at Parapan Am Games
The Canadian men's wheelchair basketball team failed in its first try to secure a 2012 Paralympic berth after suffering a 69-58 upset loss to Columbia in overtime Friday at the Parapan American Games.
Patrick Anderon of Fergus, Ont., had a game-high 26 points to go with 14 rebounds and five assists for the Canadians (4-1), who will get another chance to lock up a spot in the London Paralympics when they play for the bronze medal on Saturday.
Their opponents will be the loser of Friday's other semifinal between defending champions the United States and hosts Mexico.
"I look forward to the second chance we get tomorrow," said Canadian head coach Jerry Tonello. "The coaches will be working hard and getting up early to formulate a game plan to win for tomorrow night."
Canada added seven medals to its overall total at the Games: a silver in table tennis, two silvers and a bronze in athletics, two bronze in judo and a bronze in sitting volleyball.
In basketball, Rodney Hawkins led the Colombians with 24 points and 23 boards. Columbia entered the second half trailing 30-25 but rallied with in the third by outscoring the Canadians 19-8 in the quarter.
Canada pulled back in the fourth and tied the game 57-57 with 14 seconds left on the clock.
But Canada wilted in overtime and was outscored 12-1.
"That was surprising," said Tonello. "They had some of their better players foul out and we still had our starting lineup. We had the momentum at the time but I would have to see the tape to pin point what went wrong.
Canada shot 35 per cent from the field, compared to Columbia's 45, and was out-rebounded 40-31 in the game.
"We were just a little bit flat all our shots were a little bit off," said Tonello. "The way they played was just totally unexpected to me. I have to give props to Columbia, they played a great game."
In table tennis, Ian Kent of Eastern Passage, N.S., won his second medal of the Games when he teamed up with partner Masoud Mojtahed to place second in the class 6-8 team competition.
Kent won gold earlier in singles competition.
The Canadian pair was defeated by the Brazilian duo of Carlo DiFranco and Paulo Salmin 0-3, 0-3, 1-3.
"We lost to a good team, so I am OK with the result," Kent said. "The most medals I could win here were two. Yes, two golds would have been nice, but I am happy with this performance. I'm 50, but with the result today, I'm thinking about staying around until the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games when I can play at home."
In athletics, Shayne Dobson of Campbellton, N.B., won the silver medal in the men's T37 classification 1,500 metres in four minutes 53.81 seconds.
"It was a weird race, first half was really slow," Dobson said. "I'm still happy with the result. It's a great experience and I'm proud of it."
Alister McQueen of Calgary won silver in the men's T44 200-metres final in a new Canadian record time of 24.24 seconds.
"It's another [personal best] and Canadian record, so I'm happy but I wish the race would have gone a little bit better but what can I say; it's a great end to a great Games," McQueen said.
Dunkerley places 3rd
In the men's visually impaired T11 5000-metres final, Jason Dunkerley of Ottawa won bronze alongside guide runners Cody Boast of Ottawa and Simon Hodge of Toronto in a time of 16:47.50.
In judo, Canadians Tony Walba and Timothy Rees both captured bronze medals.
Walba won his over 100 kg bronze medal match against American Demeteris Morrow.
"I'd been hoping to fight for gold, but at least I brought home a medal for Canada," said the Ottawa native.
Rees lost his first two bouts but in the under 100 kg division but beat Cuba's Juan Cortada in the third. When Argentina's Claudio Fernandez forfeited the match due to a shoulder injury, Rees collected bronze.
"It's a little bit disappointing to win this way, but I'm still happy to win a medal for Canada," said Rees.
In sitting volleyball, Edmonton's Austin Hinchey scored 14 points and Jose Rebelo of St-Hubert, Que., launched six service aces as Canada defeated Colombia 25-13, 25-12, 25-16 to win the bronze medal.
"This is my first international medal", said Hinchey, the team captain. "I'm really pumped. The team has come a long way in the last while and I expect we will be in the hunt for gold in Toronto for the 2015 Games."
In swimming, Jean-Sebastien Lapointe of Repentigny, Que., placed fifth in the S7 50-metre butterfly for Canada's best result in the competition Friday.
Canada's medal count in swimming remains at 17 with three gold, six silver and eight bronze with the final day of races set for Saturday.