GB men's wheelchair basketball team reach Rio 2016 Paralympics

By Nate WilliamsBBC Sport in Worcester
GB's Ian Sagar
Great Britain's Ian Sagar in action in Worcester
European Wheelchair Basketball Championships
BBC coverage: Friday semi-finals and Sunday's medal matches on red button and online

Great Britain beat Italy in the men's quarter-finals of the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships to qualify for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Terry Bywater led the scoring with 24 points in a 77-48 victory.

"It's another dream, another Paralympics and there's no reason why we don't deserve it," he told BBC Sport.

The women's team, who lost their final pool game 64-52 to the Netherlands, have already qualified for Rio.

GB's men are chasing a third straight European title after back-to back successes in 2011 and 2013.

GB's European Championships record
2013: Winners2013: Bronze
2011: Winners2011: Bronze
2009: Bronze2009: Bronze
2007: Silver2007: Bronze

They got off to a slow start against the Italians in the first period, but a three-point basket from Bywater sparked a run of 10 unanswered points to take a 36-27 half-time lead.

Haj Bhania's side eased their nerves in the second half to earn a 29-point win and book a semi-final tie against Germany on Friday (14:45 BST).

GB women will play London 2012 Paralympic champions Germany in their semi final at 18:15 BST on Friday after a hard-fought effort against the Netherlands.

Helen Freeman finished the game with 28 points but it was not enough to upset the tournament favourites, who raced away with the lead in the second half to claim a 12-point victory.

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