Charlotte Moore doubled down on ParalympicsGB’s prospects in women’s wheelchair basketball after a 73-54 loss to Canada in their Group A opener.
The world silver medallists bossed the early stages, leading 29-26 at half-time, but a strong Canadian comeback consigned Great Britain to defeat at Musashino Sport Plaza in Tokyo.
Simon Fisher’s side were left to rue the Canadians going on a run of 16 straight points during the third quarter, but Moore found the positives in a first international game for 18 months.
“It’s a massive learning opportunity,” said Moore, playing at her second Paralympics.
“I was so nervous because it’s been so long since we last played, but it was just nice to be out there and there’s lots we can take from it.
“We need to stay more composed as a team in moments like the third quarter. We were still creating chances, we didn’t need to try to rush back into the game.
“Any time you’re going into a tournament without having played other nations, it’s tricky. Luckily we have time, we’ve not gone out today, and have the chance to build on this.
“We have a lot of experienced players on the team who have been to a Games before, so we’re working together and learning.”
Maddie Thompson led ParalympicsGB scoring with 11 points and talisman Helen Freeman contributed seven assists.
Great Britain set the pace in the first quarter, Laurie Williams leading the way on the fast break with six points and the defence forcing five turnovers to open up a 14-11 lead.
Canada clawed back momentum in the early moments of the second but Thompson drove into the paint for a pair of quick buckets and then a three-point play to restore the pattern.
Kady Dandeneau was in inspired form for the Canadians and she single-handedly swung the pendulum in her side’s favour, leading them to a 45-39 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Thompson, returning to the Paralympic stage having featured at London 2012 and missing Rio to become a mother, responded with two mid-range field goals to set up a grandstand finale.
But there was to be no late drama and attention quickly turns to ParalympicsGB’s next group game against hosts Japan tomorrow.
Courtesy of ParalympicsGB