Basketball team take bronze on final day

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The Independent Online

Great Britain's wheelchair basketball team banished their Sydney demons on the final day of the Paralympics by clinching bronze in the third-place play-off with victory over the Netherlands.

Great Britain's wheelchair basketball team banished their Sydney demons on the final day of the Paralympics by clinching bronze in the third-place play-off with victory over the Netherlands.

Alan Titmuss's side recovered from a poor start to win, 82-66. The victory erased painful memories of four years ago when the British team's medal dreams were shattered at the same stage by the United States in the final seconds.

The final buzzer was greeted by jubilant scenes among the players and British contingent in the 6,355-strong crowd.

"I must admit it's difficult to get the smile off my face, this medal puts us up there as one of the best teams in the world," said Titmuss. "This was definitely payback for us after what happened in Sydney. It took months for us to get over that."

Guard Ade Adepitan, a BBC presenter, added: "It's amazing, a dream come true. We had Sydney in mind today, we didn't want to lose another medal. We knew we could do it."

The medal, Britain's 94th of the Games, did not look likely on the evidence of the first quarter as the Dutch started strongly, taking a 22-18 lead.

But Britain came to life in the second, storming into a 40-33 lead. Jon Pollock then came into his own in the final two quarters and he led the scorers with 31 points at the finish.

Runner-up to the US by a handful of gold medals at the Athens Olympics, China was the big winner as the Paralympics ended. China won 63 gold medals, nearly twice as many as their closest rival, Britain, on 35.

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