The opening game of the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships saw the Netherlands put on a stunning performance against Spain, overcoming their gritty opponents to take an 82-21 victory.
The Netherlands came out firing: immediately capitalising off of the tap off with two points from Jitske Visser as the Dutch piled on the pressure – racing to a 10-0 lead within the game’s opening three minutes. It was, however, Spain who took the final three points of the quarter as they continued to battle their way back into the game; the Netherlands nevertheless were ahead by 24-7 at the close of the first 10 minutes.
The second quarter saw the Dutch firmly announce their presence at the Championships, building upon the first quarter with a phenomenal performance to enter half time with a 47-11 advantage.
Spain then hit back at the start of the third quarter, earning the opening points (13-47) and making it very difficult for their opponents in the key. With the Spanish defence keeping theirs and their shots not falling, the Netherlands nevertheless rallied together as they played to a 61-15 lead with just 10 minutes left on the clock.
The final quarter saw the Netherlands find another level as they shut down the Spanish attack whilst also capitalising under the basket to secure the opening win of the Championships by 82-21.
Spain Women’s Head Coach Abraham Carrión Ruiz said: “For us it was a very difficult game, but we are very happy because all the players are working all the time in the game and we think now that we are a better team than before the game.”
The Netherlands Head Coach Gertjan van der Linden said: “It was the first game of the tournament and we also didn’t know anything about Spain because we haven’t played them in 5 or 6 years. However, we had a good game. All players played and that was our focus, so we will see what will happens in the end.”
1. M. Alonso Vilarino (11); 2. V. Perez Gutierrez (6); 3. S. Ruiz Escribano (2)
1. C. Korver (20); 2. M. Beijer (19); 3. S. Timmerman (12)
MVP: Cher Korver
Presented by the UK Cheerleading Association