It was a historic European Championships for Scotland’s Robyn Love and the British Wheelchair basketball squad as they reached their first ever final, collecting a silver medal against Word Champions Holland.
The squad faced a tough schedule in Rotterdam with five group games in as many days. In their first pool game they secured a dominant win over France, 66-18. GB’s record improved to 2-0 the following afternoon as they bagged a 56-29 win over Spain.
The Netherlands, who are the current world champions, awaited in the third group game. GB fell short in their quest to maintain their perfect record, losing 52-61. Despite the result it was a positive performance from Love, who achieved a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Game four was arguably Robyn’s finest game of the group stages, the Scot recorded 15 points, five assists and four rebounds as she inspired the team to a massive 75-20 win over opponents Turkey. The performance didn’t go unnoticed, with Robyn achieving the Sunrise Medical Player of the Game.
In their final pool game, GB came up against fierce competition in the form of Germany. The German side proved too much for GB to handle as they lost 48-61.
The Brits finished the group stages with a 3-2 record, progressing to the semi-finals and, just as importantly, booking their place at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Previous opponents Germany awaited GB in the semi, with the game a lot more gritty and low scoring than the previous match up. However, GB were clutch when they needed to be and pulled out a nail-biting 49-48 win to advance to the final.
The final was a rematch of last year’s World Championships as GB once again faced the Netherlands. The hosts had a hot start, opening up a 17-6 lead after the first, which they extended to 33-20 at the half.
During the second half GB just couldn’t get ahead of the Dutch, despite their best efforts, with the final score 52-65 to the hosts. Love secured 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
It was a successful Championships for both Love – who averaged 11.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game – and the GB team as they reached the final for the first time.
Speaking after the tournament, Robyn was happy to see the team continue to make history:
I’m incredibly proud of our squad, making history two years in a row is a great achievement. The GB programme is on the rise and getting to the final is a reflection of this. However, we come away slightly disappointed that we weren’t able to bring home the gold, but nevertheless extremely proud to have made history once again.”