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Israel holds off Brazil for second win in men's wheelchair basketball
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12:55, September 09, 2008

Despite a fourth-quarter scoring surge by the opposition, Israel held on to win 73-60 over Brazil in their third Group B preliminary game of Paralympic wheelchair basketball on Tuesday at the National Indoor Stadium.

Israel dominated the first three quarters of the game, and although Brazil outscored them 24-20 in the fourth quarter, turnovers and personal fouls prevented Brazil from closing the gap.

Lior Dror led the Israelis in 26 points and grabbed the most rebounds of 13 in the game. Three other Israeli players scored in double digits, including Roei Rozenberg, who contributed 20 points.

"Though we didn't qualify for the Paralympic Games since 1992, we qualified for some championships. For recent years, our national team has been very close to the qualification for the Paralympic Games. Our players are between 35 to 40 in age. I think we are ready to win," said Israeli captain Rotem Philipps.

"It's a tough game. The two teams are evenly matched. We executed most of our strategy. All the players played well, especially the guards. We won the game by our defence."

Brazil made more than double the number of free throw attempts than Israel did, but 17 turnovers thwarted their momentum. They committed 31 personal fouls, more than double those committed by Israel.

"We were not in good shape today. This game requires skills and technology. It's not easy to win. Although we lost three times, we'll try hard to win in following games," said Brazilian coach Itamar Luiz Silva.

"Basketball is not as popular as football in Brazil. Every sport needs time to improve. We have the best football team, but basketball develops slowly. we lack enough experience," added Silva.

After the game, Israel is 2-1 and Brazil is 0-3.

Both teams will play their next Group B preliminary games on Wednesday. Israel will face Australia at UTSB Gymnasium. Brazil will play against Britain at the National Indoor Stadium.

Source: Xinhua

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