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Canada, Australia, U.S. and Britain in last four of men's wheelchair basketball
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13:21, September 14, 2008

Defending champion Canada, Australia, United States and Britain clinched spots in men's Paralympic wheelchair basketball semifinals after four quarterfinals played at the National Indoor Stadium on Saturday.

Powered by game-high 31 points from British center Simon Munn, Britain edged out Germany 71-64 in the last quarterfinal match.

Although German guard Lars Christink's field goal and guard Dirk Passiwan's three-point shot in the closing minutes of the game rallied the German team, the British players kept up their scoring drive until the clock ran out.

With less than a minute to play, forward Terence Bywater made two pairs of free throws and Simon Munn scored one of his 31 points on a free throw to seal off the victory.

United States was awarded to a 20-0 triumph over Iran for the latter's withdrawal from the game and is to face Canada in semifinals.

Iran withdrew from the quarterfinal match against the United States, so Iran lost the match by forfeit.

The match was originally scheduled at 11:15am and was rescheduled to 9:00am on Saturday. But Iran would not accept the change and decided to walk out of the match.

The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that the United States was awarded the win by the score of 20-0 in accordance with the applicable rule and will progress to the semifinals.

Canada beat Israel 55-47 to extend winning streak to six games.

Canada's defence limited Israel to just four points in the first quarter and they maintained their control over the Israeli team for the rest of the game.

Forward Patrick Anderson led the game in scoring with 17 points. Israeli forward Rotem Philipps' basket with just over a minute of play remaining put Israel within six points of Canada.

Israel missed three subsequent shots however and guard Jaimie Borisoff sank two free throws to secure Canada's win.

Australia thrashed Japan 72-52, setting up a semifinal clash with Britain. Australia kept a winning record over Britain in preliminary game.

Australia maintained an aggressive offence throughout the game, scoring 52 points in the paint and 18 second-chance points.

Three Australian players scored in double digits, led by Centre Brad Ness with 18 points and forward Justin Eveson with 17 points.

The semifinals will be played on Sunday in the National Indoor Stadium. The losers from quarterfinals will play the classification matches for fifth to eighth places.

Source: Xinhua

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