Men's National Team Loses to Brazil 86-71 to Win Silver Medal at Toronto 2015
Toronto, ON - The Men's National Team's Gold medal game ended in an 86-71 loss to Brazil at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Ontario.
"Brazil is a good team and they played well today," said Canada Head Coach, Jay Triano. "I think we grew up throughout the tournament and throughout this game. I'm glad that we showed some fight to get back in the game."
Former first-overall NBA Draft pick, Anthony Bennett finished the game with 18 points on 6-14 shooting to go along with 9 rebounds and a block. Jamal Murray also chipped in with 12 points. Brazil's Augusto Lima finished with 13 points while shooting 86% from the field. For a full box score, click here.
Canada and the Brazil were close out of the gate as the game was tied at 11 midway through the first quarter. To close out the frame, Brazil went on a 15-2 run while Canada shot 5-19 from the field to make it a 26-13 lead for the Brazilians heading into the second quarter.
Canada opened the second quarter shooting 0-8 which helped Brazil widen their lead to as much as 19 points halfway through the frame. Andrew Nicholson established a presence in an effort to help Canada turn things around by swatting a shot and scoring five points in succession (9 points in the quarter). Throughout the frame, Brazil shot 57% from the field while Canada shot 19% to make it a 48-29 lead for the Brazilians.
The Men's National Team hoped to gain control of the game in the third quarter. After a rocky start to the frame, with Nicholson fouling out, Canada started to gain momentum and cut Brazil's lead. Teenagers, Murray and Dillon Brooks offered a spark off of the bench as they collectively scored 13 of Canada's 25 points in the quarter. With Melvin Ejim being a disrupter on defense, Canada was able to bring the game within 13 points at the end of the frame - 67-54.
Brooks and Murray continued to play well to start off the fourth quarter. With tenacious team defense and high energy on offense, Canada was able to cut Brazil's lead to 6 with less than seven minutes to play. Brazil settled down and started to make their shots which grew their lead back to double-digits. Canada missed a few threes down the stretch and allowed critical rebounds to Brazil to lose 86-71.
“It was a great experience playing with these guys,” said Point Guard, Murray. “We’re still very proud of what we did, even though this not the final goal that we wanted.”
Winning a Silver medal gives Team Canada its best finish at a Pan Am Games. The Men's National Team will regroup and move on to play in the FIBA Americas in Mexico City, Mexico from August 31 to September 12. The top two teams in the tournament earn qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
For the full Men's National Team Roster and coaching staff, click here.
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