Image courtesy of FIBA Americas
Through a solid team effort, the Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) posted a 91-62 victory over Brazil in the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship for Men. The win gives Canada a 2-1 record in the competition. The 29-point margin is Canada’s largest against Brazil with the previous mark of 20 having been set in 1999. The team’s last victory over Brazil came on August 26, 2003 – Steve Nash scored 24 points en route to a 101-97 win at the FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The two sides opened on fairly even terms as neither team could string together a sustained period of offence. Cory Joseph of Pickering, Ont. set the pace early for Team Canada with 12 points in the game’s opening 10 minutes. The Brazilians answered each time Joseph potted a basket and led 22-19 after the first quarter. Canada came out focused in the second and quickly erased the deficit. The SMNT would use a 14-0 run to build a 44-34 lead at halftime.
The second half of the game would bring much of the same as Canada continued to apply pressure to Brazil while mounting a steady offence. The Canadian side outscored the opposition 24-12 en route to a 68-46 advantage after three quarters. The final frame saw the South American nation push back, but an energized Team Canada held the opposition with strong defence and timely offence.
Joseph headlined the Canadian attack, finishing with game-highs in points (28), rebounds (nine), assists (four) and steals (three). Team Canada’s balanced offensive output saw three additional players score in double-figures. Jermaine Anderson of Toronto, Ont. contributed 14 points and three assists off the bench. Mississauga, Ont. product Andrew Nicholson added 13, while Syracuse, N.Y. native Andrew Rautins tallied 12 on an efficient 4-for-5 performance from the floor. The game’s full set of statistics are available here.
Head coach Jay Triano credited the team’s all-around play when asked to comment on the game. “We played well and received strong defensive contributions from everyone today. We rebounded well and we shot the ball well.” Coach added that, “the key is maintaining our focus throughout the entire game. We're getting better each time we step on the floor and if we stay focused, the outcome will take care of itself.”
Following a stretch of three-games-in-three-days, Team Canada will have a practice day on Monday. The Canadians next play on Tuesday against Uruguay at 2:00 p.m. (ET). Team Uruguay opened the competition with a hard-fought last-minute 68-66 victory over Jamaica.