CMNT UNDEFEATED AFTER QUALIFYING ROUND AT FIBA AMERICAS
Image courtesy of FIBA Americas
The Cadet Men’s National Team (CMNT) completed the qualifying round at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men with a 75-53 victory over host-nation Uruguay. The win puts Canada at 3-0 in the tournament and secured the team first place in Group B.
Canada put forth a solid defensive effort to begin the contest. The team held Uruguay scoreless for a six-minute stretch and limited the host-nation to just seven points in the frame. The CMNT blanketed Team Uruguay’s offensive efforts and came up with eight steals in the opening quarter. While the team was solid defensively, Canada also struggled to establish its offensive game, managing 15 points in the game’s first 10 minutes.
Team Canada found its rhythm in the second and began shooting the ball better, but it was the squad’s all-around game that stood out. The Canadians corralled 10 more rebounds, made five more assists and grabbed nine more steals in the first half of the game as Canada built a 40-17 advantage. The CMNT found its offence at the free-throw line, making 15 of 23 attempts in the first 20 minutes. The third quarter saw the hosts play better as an energetic crowd buoyed the home side’s spirits. Uruguay cut into the lead by outscoring the Red and White 20-15 in the frame.
The CMNT opened the final quarter with a 7-0 run in response to Team Uruguay’s improved play. The run extended Canada’s lead to 25 – it’s largest of the game. Uruguay would get no closer than 18 as Canada continued to play well in its own end. The two best players for Canada in the contest finished with two very similar nights. Kitchener, Ontario’s Jamal Murray notched 17 points on 43 per cent shooting while adding nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Justin Jackson of Ajax, Ontario completed the evening with 15 points while shooting 44 per cent, to go with nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. The game’s full statistics can be viewed here.
With the first-place finish, Canada will now match-up against Argentina who finished the qualifying round in second place. The semifinal match is set to tip-off Friday night at 8:00 p.m. (ET). The game can be seen live online at fibaamericas.com.