Tokyo Paralympics: Ian Sagar and Terry Bywater close in on another medal with wheelchair basketball GB

Yorkshire duo Terry Bywater and Ian Sagar helped ParalympicsGB past Australia 70-69 in a nail-biting final wheelchair basketball group game in Tokyo.

Britain's Ian Sagar tries to score against Australia's defense during a wheelchair basketball men's preliminary round match at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

The reigning world champions trailed 27-12 at the end of the first quarter and were staring down the barrel, 13 points behind at half-time.

But Gaz Choudry took control, sinking eight of his game-high 28 points in the first three minutes of the third quarter.

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The 36-year-old, who missed his best friend’s wedding to compete at London 2012, ended with 11 assists, eight rebounds and a crucial part in the turnaround.

Britain's Gaz Choudhry passes the ball to team-mate during their wheelchair basketball men's preliminary round match against Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

Middlesbrough’s Bywater scored two points and Barnsley’s Sagar three on a memorable night for their side.

“It was an amazing game and really, really fun to be part of,” said Britain’s Lee Manning, who also claimed a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

“Obviously it was a big comeback from us. Going into half-time, I always felt like if we played our basketball, played what we could do, I knew that we could come out strong.

“I don’t think we actually even got in front until the final minute of the game.”

Britain are reigning world champions and emerge top of the tournament’s group of death, fuelling hope they can win a medal for the fourth Games in five.

Their reward is Wednesday’s last-eight meeting with Canada, who were once a dominant force and won gold at London 2012 but finished 12th at the 2018 World Championships.

“We finished top of the group which is amazing and gives ourselves hopefully the easier quarter-final, but we’ll see how that goes,” said Manning.

“This is the position we wanted to be in. I’m proud of the boys, extremely proud of the boys.

“I’m glad we got it done and we’ll stick together and it’s just one more challenge, one more game.”

Sainsbury’s is a proud supporter of ParalympicsGB and a champion of inclusive sport for all. For more information on Sainsbury’s visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/ and https://paralympics
.org.uk/