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Games wheelchair basketball squads named
15:12 AEST Thu Jul 5 2012

Selectors have opted for experience in naming Australia's men's and women's wheelchair basketball squads for the Paralympic Games.

The teams were officially unveiled in Perth on Thursday, with the 12-strong squads for both the Rollers (men) and Gliders (women) including just two men and three women who will make their Paralympic debut at this year's London Games.

The world No.1 Rollers, who clinched gold at the Beijing 2008 Paralympics and won the 2010 World Championships, are hoping to win back-to-back gold medals.

West Australian Brad Ness will again captain the side at what will be his fourth consecutive Paralympics, while Bill Latham and Jannik Blair will feature at their first Games.

It will be a tough assignment for the Rollers who will face the USA, South Africa, Turkey, Spain and Italy in the pool.

"We're ready. The last four years, we've been preparing ourselves for this moment and, when you look at the work we've done - every player has had game time, gym time, on-court time - we're just ready to get in there and do battle," Rollers coach Ben Ettridge said.

The Gliders are looking for their first Paralympic gold medal, having won two silvers and a bronze from the past three Games.

The team won bronze in Beijing after losing to eventual gold medallists, the USA, in the semi-finals.

Queenslander Bridie Kean, who made her Paralympic debut in Beijing, will captain her first Paralympic side in London when the Gliders take on Brazil, Great Britain, Canada and the Netherlands in the pool round.

Kean will join several seasoned campaigners as well as Games debutantes Amber Merritt, Sarah Vinci and Leanne del Toso.

"We've worked really hard to improve the team's shooting percentage, we've had strength and conditioning coaches working with the girls to up their fitness and we've increased the volume of shooting during training. Hopefully, all the hard work the girls are putting in now will pay off in London," Gliders coach John Triscari said.

Australian men's wheelchair basketball team: Brad Ness (capt), Justin Eveson, Bill Latham, Tristan Knowles, Brett Stibners, Shaun Norris, Grant Mizens, Nick Taylor, Tige Simmons, Jannik Blair, Dylan Alcott, Michael Hartnett.

Australian women's wheelchair basketball team: Amber Merritt, Leanne del Toso, Bridie Kean (capt), Cobi Crispin, Shelley Chaplin, Sarah Stewart, Tina McKenzie, Katie Hill, Kylie Gauci, Sarah Vinci, Clare Nott, Amanda Carter.


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