Rollers crash out to Japan in quarters

·1-min read

The Australian Rollers will miss the podium for a second straight Paralympics after crashing out to Japan 61-55 in the quarter-finals of the men's basketball in Tokyo.

The Rollers trailed by 10 points early in the final quarter before launching a brave fightback that cut the margin to two points with more than six minutes remaining.

Australia had an opportunity to level the scores, but the missed chance proved costly as Japan pulled away to secure the six-point win and a maiden berth in the semi-finals.

The Rollers achieved podium finishes at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympics, and boast two gold medals among their rich history.

But they finished sixth at Rio, and will go away from Tokyo empty-handed as well.

Tom O'Neill-Thorne top-scored for Australia with 18 points while Bill Latham chipped in with 11.

The Rollers' poor shooting proved their undoing, with the team going at just 35 per cent accuracy from the field, in comparison to Japan's 52 per cent.

Australia made just one of its 12 three-point attempts.

Hiroaki Kozai led the way for Japan with 20 points in a haul that included two long bombs, while Reo Fujimoto chipped in with 14 points.

The loss to Japan came just two days after Australia coughed up a 20-point lead in a one-point loss to Great Britain in the group stage.

Australia will now play Turkey for fifth spot on Saturday.

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