The Development Men’s National Team (DMNT) moved to a 3-0 record with a convincing 82-40 victory over Latvia on Monday morning. With the win, the team closed-out the first leg of the Four Nations’ International Invitational Tournament following victories over China and the United States over the weekend. 

Toronto, Ont. native Dwight Powell once again started the game well with an impressive showing. The DMNT quickly built a lead and established a strong game focused on rebounding and defence. Latvia proved to be a resourceful and tenacious opponent, but Canada went into halftime sporting a 36-26 lead.

The second half saw Canada breakout in a big way. The team’s offensive game shone while the bench provided energy and productivity. The Red and White’s stalwart defence continued to be effective in shutting-down any push from the Latvian side. In the second half, the team allowed only 14 points while netting 46. Canada’s commitment to rebounding showed as they finished the game with a clear 43-20 advantage.

Powell led the Canadians’ even attack with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Murphy Burnatowski registered 12 points on an efficient shooting display, making five shots in six attempts, and Melvin Ejim chipped-in 11 while grabbing 8 rebounds. Kingston, Ontario’s Owen Klassen finished with a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds as the team pressed on offence and controlled on defence through the match. "Now that we are getting used to playing with each other, we are starting to click as a team. I think that we will only get better as the trip goes on and we’ll be ready to play when it comes time for the FISU games," said Klassen when asked about the team’s dynamic.

Head coach Jay Triano noted that, "we were really able to focus on the defensive end tonight; we took them out of the game with what we were able to do offensively. We still need to make better decisions offensively with and without the ball. Our bigs did an outstanding job inside against their smaller bigs. We were able to punish them inside."

The DMNT will now travel to the city of Huaihua to continue the team’s tour through China. The same four teams will once again match-up over the course of three days beginning on Wednesday where Canada will face the United States. Canada took the first match between the two North American rivals with a 75-73 victory on Sunday.