Image courtesy of FIBA Americas

The Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) put forth a strong effort, but the Dominican Republic held on for a close 74-68 victory at the 2013 Tuto Marchand Continental Cup. The five-team, four-game tournament is set to conclude on Monday.

Canada began the match well and raced-out to an 11-2 lead before the game was three minutes old. The early deficit seemed to spark the Dominican side as they answered with a 15-2 run en route to a 23-18 advantage at the end of 10 minutes. A back-and-forth match ensued in the second quarter as both sides locked down and focused on their own ends. Team Canada outscored their opponents 13-8 in the frame to knot the game at 31-31 at halftime.

The see-saw battle continued in the third as both sides competed hard, attempting to pull ahead. The period featured four ties as the two teams traded opportunities. Midway through the 10-minute frame, Team Dominican Republic found its scoring touch and proceeded to go on a 12-0 run. Canada battled back in the last minute with six straight points to trail 53-47 after 30 minutes of play. The SMNT pressured their opponents in the fourth and came within two points in the game’s final minutes. However, time ran out on the Canadian comeback bid as the Dominican Republic held-on for the win.

The Canadians were led by Brampton, Ont. native Tristan Thompson who posted his second double-double in three games. Thompson finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds – both of which were game-highs. The forward was a terror in the Dominican end and gathered nine offensive rebounds on the evening. Burlington, Ontario’s Brady Heslip potted a trio of three-pointers for 11 points. 6-5 forward Andrew Rautins from Syracuse, N.Y. also tallied 11 points in the match. The game’s statistics can be viewed here.

Canada now has a day to practice and train before the team’s final match of the tournament on Monday. The SMNT will complete the tournament on Monday against Brazil with tip-off scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (ET). Brazil currently owns a 1-1 record following Saturday’s 90-70 setback to Argentina. The game is available live online via a paid subscription at