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Fire alarm marks end of Canadian loss to Dutch in 1st game at Paralympic qualifier | CBC Sports

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Canada’s opening game at the men’s wheelchair basketball Paralympic qualifier on Friday in Antibes, France, ended inauspiciously.

A fire alarm at Azur Arena with 18.5 seconds left in the Canadians’ 62-45 loss to the Netherlands caused a lengthy delay while the outcome was no longer in question. Many Dutch players stayed out shooting on the court even while it seemed evacuation was in order, while the Canadians huddled in an opposite corner.

After about 10 minutes, the game finally resumed with each team earning a possession before the final buzzer.

Patrick Anderson, 44, led a balanced Canadian attack with eight points against the Dutch to go with seven rebounds and six assists. Chad Jassman also contributed eight points.

Bo Hedges, who’s competed at the past four Paralympics, added six points to match teammate Vincent Dallaire.

The teams were knotted at 21 apiece after two quarters, but the Netherlands’ Mendel Op Den Orth found his shooting stroke in the second half, ending the game with 16 makes in 25 attempts for a game-high 34 points.

“I think we were slightly less aggressive in the second half, so they got a bit closer to their spots, and they hit a few shots that they didn’t in the first half — just slowly edging their way away from us,” Hedges said. “There weren’t any drastic changes, but they came out at half with a new plan and executed better than we did.”

WATCH | Full replay of Canada vs. the Netherlands:

Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic Qualifier: Canada vs Netherlands

Watch as Canada takes on Netherlands in Antibes, France for a chance to claim one of the remaining four qualifying spots at the 2024 Summer Paralympics.

Canada has enjoyed plenty of success this millennium, winning four Paralympic medals including three gold (2000, 2004, 2012) and a silver (2008). But plenty of the top players from those teams have slowed down with age, and Paris has been seen as the a potential finale for many, including the legendary Anderson.

The top four of eight countries competing at the France qualifier will reach the Paris Paralympics.

The Canadian women’s team will also participate in a last-chance qualifier after falling to the U.S. in the Parapan Am Games final last November. Canada’s men won bronze at the same event.

Canada returns to the court on Saturday at noon ET to take on France with live streaming coverage available on CBCSports.ca, the CBC Sports app and CBC Gem.

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