The penultimate game of Day 4 saw the Netherlands Men's Team play their way to a 70-49 victory against Switzerland.
Ranked bottom of Pool B, Switzerland came out firing in their matchup with the group’s third ranked team, the Netherlands. Although the scoreline was in favour of the Netherlands at the end of the first quarter, a spirited performance saw them trail by only five points at 14-9.
Throughout the second quarter, both teams continued to move the ball. But creating more chances and benefiting from superior shooting accuracy, the Netherlands opened up a 39-20 lead by half time. Current group B leading scorer Mustafa Korkmaz and Robin Poggenwisch combined to lead their team with eleven and ten points respectively, with the two also tied for a team-leading four assists each.
Tensions rose as Switzerland again came out firing at the start of the second half: outscoring the Netherlands by sixteen points to twelve in the third quarter. Whilst it was the turn of the Netherlands to struggle with shooting accuracy, Switzerland forward Philipp Hafeli led a reinvigorated attack by connecting play between his teammates and contributing some spectacular baskets.
Despite a 51-36 score in favour of Netherlands heading into the fourth quarter, a competitive atmosphere amongst the players, benches, and supporting fans, reflected the ongoing competition of the match. With the two teams going trading points throughout the concluding period of the match, the Netherlands managed to increase their lead with some key three-pointers and free-throws from Korkmaz.
With the Netherlands finishing as 70-49 winners, the match finished as a great advert for the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships. Whilst Switzerland will take encouragement from their performance, the Netherlands will also take two important points towards qualifying for the tournament’s knockout rounds.
1. M. Korkmaz (20)*; 2. R. Poggenwisch (13); 3. M. Bellers (12)
1. P. Haveli (21)*; 2. J. Binda (13); 3. M. Suter (6)
*double double, points and rebounds
MVP, presented by Hereford and Worcestershire CSP: Mustafa Korkmaz (Netherlands)