Wheelchair basketball on the rise
Australian Gliders head coach John Triscari is focusing on building an aggressive game style just three weeks out from the World Championships in Birmingham.
The national women’s wheelchair basketball team visited the Geelong Arena for game four of their five game series with Germany on Thursday night, the curtain raiser for the Opals clash with Japan.
Despite falling 54-39 and handing the visitors an unassailable 3-1 lead, Triscari was satisfied with his side’s preparation heading into the titles in England starting July 7.
“I’m pleased; we’ve been developing a really aggressive, tough style which the Germans don’t like too much,” he said.
“This is probably the number one team in the world that we’re playing against and I think we’re well placed for the World Championships.”
The Gliders held a buffer early in the third term but were unable to go on, a shooting percentage of 29 per cent from the field proving their downfall.
“Our main problem was our shooting percentage; we took more shots than them but converted poorly which was the difference,” Triscari said.
The Rollers have just returned from the Paralympics World Cup in Manchester where they received a bronze medal along with the national men’s side, the Rollers.
Australia’s leading scorer on Thursday night, Kylie Gauci (nine points), was happy to be home and was looking forward to returning to England to represent her country.
“We’ve got worlds in three weeks and it’s nice to be home, play against a good team in Germany. I think we’ve improved since Manchester and we’re in good stead going into the worlds,” she said.
She was thrilled to have played in front of a big crowd as the Gliders try to increase the spotlight on wheelchair basketball in Australia.
“It was unreal that the crowd came out in support for us tonight before the Opals, it was a great atmosphere,” Australian leading scorer Kylie Gauci said.
“At the moment there’s not enough exposure and I think playing games in front of the Opals will help,” coach Triscari said.
“We had about 1000 kids watch us in Dandenong and all of those kids are now aware and will spread the word to their parents and so on.”
Geelong’s Melanie Domaschenz (pictured above) was also delighted to have represented her country on her home court.
Game five is played tonight in Dandenong and Triscari said the travelling nation can expect more of the same.
“Even the Germans were whinging and moaning, they didn’t like it at all and the message with that is; welcome to Australia and we’re going to go even harder,” he said.
“The style of play we’re developing is a running, aggressive in your face type of style and I haven’t seen a team in the world that’s comfortable with it.”