Image courtesy of FIBA
The Junior Men’s National Team (JMNT) was defeated 109-67 by Team USA in the quarter-finals of the FIBA U19 World Championship for Men. Team USA is now 7-0 and will move on to the semifinals. The Canadians, now 3-4, head to the classification round where they will play for fifth to eighth place in the competition.
Canada and the United States both came out focused on setting an early tone in the contest. A quick pace started the game as the two North American rivals traded chances at each end of the court. Midway through the frame and knotted at 12-12, the Americans pushed ahead with a 12-2 run to break open the game. At the end of the first quarter, Team USA held a 30-22 advantage.
The JMNT’s shift to a 2-3 zone defence seemed to rattle the American side. With six minutes remaining in the half, Canada trimmed the lead to five points with a determined effort in its own zone, but Team USA shifted gears and re-discovered its scoring touch. The United States closed-out the half by outscoring Canada 20-10. Team USA continued its strong shooting night and came back on defence every time Canada tried to mount an offensive response. The Americans notched their highest output in a quarter with 31 points in the third before going on to outscore Canada 25-17 in the final frame.
Scarborough, Ont. native Xavier Rathan Mayes finished the night tied for the game-high in points with 14. Ajax, Ontario’s Agunwa Okolie added 13 while collecting a team-high six rebounds. Tyler Ennis contributed 11 points in limited time on the court due to early foul trouble. Trey Lyles, who has been one of Canada’s more consistent performers in the tournament, did not participate in the match due to injury. The game’s set of statistics can be seen here.
“It was a very tough loss to a very talented and powerful USA team. We are proud of reaching the Final 8 and will now look to finish with the highest placement that we can. Although we are disappointed, we will continue to represent Canada with great passion in our next few games,” said head coach Roy Rana, when asked about his team’s performance.
The JMNT will play Team China at 9:30 a.m. (ET) on Saturday. China fell 89-58 in its quarter-final match against Lithuania to move to a record of 3-4. The winner will advance in the classification round to play either Spain or Croatia for fifth-place in the tournament.