Men's National Team Beats Argentina 88-83 in Second Group-Stage Game at TORONTO 2015
Toronto, ON – The Men’s National Team’s second group-stage game ended in an 88-83 victory over Argentina at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Ontario.
“Our guys grew as the game went on – we really matched their physicality. The energy and effort that the team has been putting in is great to see,” said Head Coach Jay Triano.
Mississauga native, Andrew Nicholson finished the game with a double-double of 24 points and 12 rebounds. Jamal Murray and Anthony Bennett helped lead the scoring charge by netting 20 and 17 points, respectively. Argentina’s Facundo Campazzo finished with 23 points while shooting 62% from the field. For a full box score, click here.
Canada started the game slowly as Argentina jumped out to an early 9-4 lead in the frame. Toronto’s Bennett played with confidence throughout the quarter on his way to 12 points on 4-4 shooting. Providing a spark off the bench was Murray who chipped in with 9 points in the quarter as the game was knotted at 24 going into the second.
Canada looked to find their groove in the second quarter with Murray and Bennett continuing to lead the way for Canada (15 points each in the half). Melvin Ejim showed some solid energy off of the bench, swatting two shots in the quarter to lead to four of Canada’s fast-break points. The quarter rose with intensity as both teams picked up technical fouls after a few scuffles, but after the dust settled, Canada trailed Argentina 50-44 at the half.
The Men’s National Team came out of the half hoping to gain some momentum. Nicholson shined in the frame as he managed to score 8 of Canada’s 15 points in the quarter to go along with 5 rebounds. The low-scoring quarter ended with Argentina leading Canada, 66-59.
Canada came storming back early in the fourth quarter by going on a 13-5 run to take the lead by a point with less than six minutes remaining in the contest (71-70). Crucial buckets from Nicholson along with a pivotal three-pointer late in the game from Brady Heslip guided Canada to an 83-80 lead with under 40 seconds remaining. A block by Murray on the ensuing Argentina possession led to Heslip going to the free-throw line where he sunk both shots to preserve Canada’s 88-83 victory.
“It’s a great opportunity to play on home-soil. I went out there and gave it my all,” claimed Centre, Sim Bhullar.
With the win, Canada is leading Group B after Mexico lost to the Dominican Republic.
Team Canada will play Mexico in their final group-stage game tomorrow at 6:00PM at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
For the full Men’s National Team Roster and coaching staff, click here.