The Netherlands and Turkey win European Wheelchair Basketball Championships

Turkey celebrate winning the European Championship (Photo: IWBF)

Turkey and the Netherlands claimed the men’s and women’s European Wheelchair Basketball Championship titles respectively as the tournament drew to a close in Tenerife, Spain on Friday.

The opening game of finals day was the women’s bronze medal match between big local rivals Great Britain and France. In the end Britain were far too strong for their channel neighbours as they managed a 68-37 win. Helen Freeman managed 27 points, and Amy Conroy chipped in with 18 in Britain’s tenth bronze medal.

In the men’s bronze medal match Germany took on the Netherlands in an absolute thriller with the Germans eventually edging it 61-56 to claim bronze. The key was the German efforts from the free-throw line with their more clinical shooting proving the difference.

For the women’s title there was another match-up between Germany and the Netherlands in another entertaining game between the two sides. The first half saw two quarters with a team winning each 15-8 making it level at 23-23 at half-time. In the second half the Dutch took it to Germany, winning the third quarter 19-8, and from there looked to defend solidly in the fourth. Germany rallied in the fourth but had too much of a gap to make up seeing the Dutch claim the European Championship.

Yet again the men’s European Championship final saw Great Britain against Turkey, the third time in a row that game was the men’s championship final. Turkey quickly built up a ten point lead before Great Britain showed their class and changed tactics, employing a full court press, which stifled Turkey.

By the end of the first Great Britain had got it back to a two point game, before the two teams got in to foul trouble, with Turkey proving more clinical at the line to take a 36-24 lead in to the main break. Great Britain came back in a high scoring third, but Turkey still led by nine coming in to the final quarter. Great Britain would get the game back to within one point, but could never wrestle the lead away from Turkey who claimed the win, with Ozgur Gurbulak managing two huge three pointers to seal it.

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