The France and Spain matchup was an exciting, physical, and fast paced affair. The routine clashes of chairs created a cacophony of noises as the teams did battle to confirm their qualification at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Paralympic Games. The audience marvelled as both sets of players ricochet from the clashing of wheelchairs impeding each other’s paths. An intense, action packed matchup between two fierce competitors.
The French number 9, Fabienne Saint-Omer Delepine, led the charge for France early on with scoring and rebounding. Her height allowed her to score over the outstretched arms of defenders with ease and she readily consumed all rebounds in her path. The first quarter finished 14-4 in Frances favour.
During the second quarter Spain upped their intensity and both teams scored well off the fast break from transition. Despite the Spanish scoring nine points in the quarter, the French increased their lead by two points, with the first half ending 25-13 to the French.
France kept up their scoring prowess to extend their lead to 40-25 at the end of the third quarter. During the fourth quarter Spain came out with a revised energy as their qualification for Rio 2016 seemed to be fading. Their urgency to decrease the points deficit reduced the French lead to 10 points with 3 minutes left in the fourth period. However the French went on a scoring streak to implore the Spaniards in to taking another time out as the gap widened again, yet the stifling French defence kept them at bay for the rest of the game.
Ultimately the combination and firepower of French duo Marriane Buso and Fabienne Saint-Omer Delephine were simply too much to overcome for the Spanish side. Despite Maria Victoria Alonso Vilarino finishing with 19 points for Spain, the games highest individual score. A truly incredible contest, from two teams aspiring to qualify for next years Paralympic Games, however it was France that finished on top with a 51-39 win.
1. M.V. Alonso Vilarino (19), 2. S, Escribano (5) 3. M. Torres Munoz (5)
1. M.Buso (15), 2. F. Saint-Omer Delepine (13), 3. E. Menard (11)
MVP: M. Buso (France)