Men's National Team Beats Dominican Republic 105-88 in TORONTO 2015 Opener
Toronto, ON - The Men's National Team's game ended in a 105-88 victory over the Dominican Republic at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Ontario.
"We had a lot of guys step up and play well for us tonight," said Canada Head Coach, Jay Triano. "We performed well offensively, but with stronger defense, our offense can become even better."
Coming off of the bench, Brady Heslip finished the game with 24 points on 9-15 shooting while Anthony Bennett earned a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Dominican's Angel Suero finished with 17 points while shooting 50% from the field. For a full box score, click here.
Canada and the Dominican Republic were close out of the gate as the game started with a 9-8 lead for Canada midway through the first quarter. Mississauga's Andrew Nicholson and Burlington native, Heslip had themselves a solid quarter as they each scored seven points to guide Canada to a 20-17 lead after one quarter of play.
Canada started to gain momentum in the second quarter as shots continued to fall for Heslip (shooting 7-10 in the half) and ferocious team defense led to fast-break buckets. After outscoring the Dominicans 34-20 in the quarter, the Men's National Team turned a three-point lead into a 17-point lead as the score was 54-37 heading into the second half. Heslip finished with 18 points in the half while Bennett chipped in with six points and four rebounds in the frame.
The Men's National Team looked to continue their ramped pace in the third quarter against Dominican Republic. Coming off of the bench, Jamal Murray made his presence felt in the quarter as he scored 6 points and dished out two assists in the frame. Good team shooting (53 FG%) guided Canada to a 76-62 lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter Canada wanted to close out the game powerfully. By staying consistent on offense and defense as well as giving young players such as Dillon Brooks and Kyle Wiltjer valuable playing time, Team Canada was able to top the Dominicans by a score of 105-88.
"It was a lot of fun playing in Toronto again and we are all excited to get this win," said shooting guard, Heslip.
18-year-old point guard, Murray is the youngest player on the team and stated, "I play with older guys all of the time. It's more physical, but once you run up the court a couple times, you get a good feel for the game."
Team Canada will play Argentina in their second group-stage game tomorrow at 6:00 P.M. at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
For the full Men's National Team Roster and coaching staff, click here.
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