The Australian Junior Women’s Wheelchair team has wrapped up the 2023 IWBF U25 World Cup in Thailand with a 20-point win over South Africa, and all eyes on future opportunities for the next generation of Australia’s senior women’s wheelchair team, the Gliders.
The U25 World Championships is the pinnacle event for junior wheelchair basketballers, and this year’s featured the largest number of teams in the tournament’s history, with 10 participating.
The Devils featured three international debutants, with eight of the 12 athletes who travelled to Thailand eligible for the next U25 World Championship in 2027.
The World Championships got off to a difficult start with a late change of venue forced by a roof collapse caused by heavy rain before opening ceremonies at the Bangkok stadium.
The Devils were drawn in a challenging pool that included the top four finishing teams, eventual champions, the USA, and runners-up Great Britain.
Maryanne Latu (NSWIS) topped the stats sheets with 56 points and 26 assists for the tournament, averaging 10.6ppg and 5.2 ast, while captain Annabelle Dennis (SASI) had 49 points for the tournament.
Laura Davoli (VIS) was a standout of the young group, the 18-year-old one of the eight eligible to play at the 2027 World Championships. Davoli topped the rebound count with 46, 45 points and 13 assists for the tournament.
Head Coach Janna Mizens PLY says while the team faced some strong opposition, the Devils showed great resilience.
“We played tough games each day against countries that have a long history of development in the game, and our girls fought back as a team,” said Mizens.
“They grew with each game, stayed united and enjoyed the opportunity. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to play any of the teams ranked 5-8th, this experience and learnings will be invaluable to our future success,” she said.
Player statistics for the tournament can be found here.
|FULL TOURNAMENT RESULTS|