TERRY BYWATER agonisingly missed out on being the hero for Great Britain’s wheelchair basketball team as they went down in overtime against Germany in their Paralympic opener at the North Greenwich Arena.

The 29-year-old from Redcar was in exceptional shooting form, finishing with 19 points in the 77-72 loss.

However, Bywater’s effort with one second remaining in normal time circled the ring before bouncing away as the sides finished deadlocked on 66-66 after four quarters.

That Britain had earned a shot at winning was exceptional after a disastrous start which saw the Germans establish a huge lead.

In a captivating match, the teams exchanged the lead incessantly during the final quarter but in overtime it was Germany, and in particular Dirk Passiwan, who took control.

It was a frustrating start to the competition for British coach Murray Treseder on the sidelines and he admitted that his side could not afford to make as slow a start in their remaining matches.

He said: “We had our chances, but we weren’t good enough in the end. You can’t give teams an 18-point start.

“You play catch-up from there, but even so we had a chance. We made too many errors. They had 15 offensive rebounds and we had 13 turnovers, that’s too much possession to give away.

“We’ve been talking about it for a long time, and I hope the guys understand now the importance of great decisions during the game. They are a good team and hopefully we will be able to improve for the next game.”

The defeat leaves Britain in need of a morale boost in their next game but the challenge does not get any easier with Beijing silver medallists Canada lying in wait this evening.

Even defeat in that match would not be terminal for Britain, with the top four from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals.