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Canada's men win wheelchair basketball bronze at Parapans in Santiago, Chile

SANTIAGO, Chile — Patrick Anderson had a team-high 22 points as Canada's men's wheelchair basketball team beat Argentina 70-62 on Saturday to win bronze at the Parapan American Games. Anderson, from Fergus, Ont., also had 14 rebounds and eight assists. 

Canada secured a spot in the 2024 IWBF Men’s Repechage tournament in Antibes, France, from April 12-15 with Saturday's victory. Four qualification spots for the 2024 Paralympics will be up for grabs at the last-chance qualifier. 

“Ever since I entered the program, they’ve been tough, close games against Argentina," said Anderson. "We know what to expect a bit, but still, it’s really tough, and any time we can beat them, it’s a great feeling.” 

Colin Higgins of Rothesay, N.B., just missed out on a triple-double with 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds. Regina's Garrett Ostepchuk chipped in 14 points and three assists.

"I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next year in terms of qualifying and Paris, but I definitely wasn’t ready to be done with these guys, this group and this team," said Anderson. "It really means a lot to me to keep moving toward Paris, try to get better, and go from good to great. 

"We’re not there yet, but I still think we can get there. I believe in these guys and this program, so we’re still alive."

Canada held a 45-44 lead through three quarters on Saturday, with Higgins pacing Canada with 15 and Quebec City's Vincent Dallaire adding 10 points.

Anderson had 12 in the fourth quarter as Canada outscored Argentina 25-18 to secure the victory. 

Canadian added seven medals to its total on Saturday, highlighted by Alison Levine and Iulian Ciobanu winning gold in boccia. 

They defeated Colombia’s Leidy Chica Chica and Edilson Chica Chica in a match that was decided by mere millimetres. Even at 3-3 after four ends, game went into a tiebreaker and was decided on the very last shot.

Danik Allard, Kristyn Collins and Lance Cryderman combined to earn silver in boccia in the BC1-2 team category.

Olivia Meier took bronze in Para Badminton, Women’s Singles SL4. Tianna Rissling got long jump bronze in the T36/37/38 category.

In the women's T57 100-metres, Sheriauna Haase captured bronze. Charlotte Bolton also took bronze in the women's F41 discus.

Those seven medals brought Canada's total up to 47, with nine golds, 13 silvers, and 25 bronzes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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