London, England — Last night at London‘s Paralympic Basketball Arena, the women’s national wheelchair basketball team kept it close in a game with the Australia women’s national wheelchair basketball team before losing 52–50 to . Brazil trailed by four with 32.3 seconds left in the game, narrowed the gap to two points with 1.3 seconds left but were unable to score in the final second.
Lia Maria Soares Martin dominated for Brazil, scoring over half the team’s points with 27 total. She led her team on defense with half the team’s , pulling down 14 of them. The native 24 year old who will celebrate her 25th birthday during the Paralympics plays club basketball for All Star Rodas, Belem.
Brazil played aggressive basketball, with five players earning personal fouls including Soares Martin with 4, Debora Crislina Guimaraes de Costa and Lucicleia da Costa e Costa with 3 each, and Cleonete de Nazare Santos and Cintia Mariana Lopes de Carvalho with 1 each. The Brazilians pinched Australian players several times by trying to force them to go over their wheelchairs and lose their balance. Sportsmanship was still on display, with the Brazilians helping to set Australia’supright after Gauci’s wheelchair tipped over.
Brazil competed in thewhere they did not win a single match. They are scheduled to play the next game of their London campaign this Saturday against .