Image courtesy of FIBA Americas

The Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) posted a convincing 93-67 victory over Uruguay at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Men. With the win, Team Canada finished preliminary round play with a 3-1 record and secured a second overall standing in Group A.

The Canadians set the pace early in the contest and Uruguay failed to match their opponent’s effective offence. A quick 9-2 start was coupled with effective defence as the Uruguayan side struggled to mount a sustained attack. 10 minutes into the match, Team Canada held a 29-11 advantage. Canada opened the second with a pair of three-pointers to extend the lead. Balancing strong play on both ends of the court, the SMNT limited Uruguay to 14 points in the quarter while posting 22.

A determined Uruguay stepped onto the court in the second half, looking to cut into a 26-point deficit. While the South American side appeared steadier and more composed, Team Canada still managed to outscore Uruguay 24-23 in the period. Eight straight points in the final minute of the third quarter put the SMNT ahead by a healthy 27 points at the end of 30 minutes of play.

Team Uruguay’s offence came together in the final frame, but Canada kept pace with the opposition’s production. The Red and White’s speed and team play shone in the fourth as the SMNT forced a series of turnovers and finished with power and precision on the offensive side of the floor. Uruguay outscored Canada 19-18 in the fourth to knot second-half scoring at 42-42.

A balanced Canadian offence saw four players reach double-digits in scoring. Mississauga, Ont. native Andrew Nicholson finished with a team-high 18 points though an efficient 7-for-8 shooting performance, including a perfect 3-for3 outing from beyond the arc. Pickering, Ont. product Cory Joseph continued his string of strong games, tallying 17 points and seven assists. Brampton, Ontario’s Tristan Thompson contributed 14 points and seven rebounds, while Levon Kendall of Vancouver, B.C. added 13 points and three blocks. The game’s statistics are available here.

Head coach Jay Triano commented on the team’s play, saying that “After a tough day, I give our team credit for staying focused. We came out with intensity on defence and we dictated the pace and style of play. It was nice to have everyone play in the game tonight. With tomorrow's day off, we will rest, get healthy and set our sights on the next round.”

After completing the competition’s four-game first round in five days, Canada will have one day to practice and recuperate on Wednesday. The tournament’s second round begins on Thursday with teams playing the top four squads from the other grouping on four consecutive days. The SMNT will open the next round against Mexico who finished 3-1 in Group B play. The game will tip-off at 2:00 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast on Sportsnet 360.

2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Men – Second Round Schedule

Date Opponent Time (ET)
Thursday, September 5 Mexico 2:00 p.m.
Friday, September 6 Venezuela 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 7 Dominican Republic 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 8 Argentina 2:00 p.m.