(Toronto, Ont. Aug 12, 2014) – Canada’s Senior Men had their work cut out for them this afternoon as they took on 15th ranked, and World Cup-bound, Angola in Granada, Spain. This was Canada’s 11th and final contest of their European friendly tour before heading back home to Toronto, Ont. Efficient shooting coupled with ball distribution had the red and white coming away with the convincing 89-65 victory over Angola.
Brady Heslip (Burlington, Ont.) led the Canadians with 22 points (8-16 FG) in 25:09. Andrew Nicholson (Mississauga, Ont.) was a major factor, chipping in with 21 points (8-11 FG), ten rebounds, in 26:28 of action. Cory Joseph (Pickering, Ont.) also recorded a double-double with 12 points (4-7 FG), 11 assists, and three rebounds in 28:27.
Angola was led by Joaquim Gomes, who poured in 21 points (8-10 FG), and five rebounds in 22:09 of floor time.
Canada started strong and by the end of the first quarter, the team had four players with five points or more and held a 23-17 lead over Angola. Canada built on their lead in the second quarter thanks in large part to Nicholson’s efficient play down low and Heslip’s reliable stroke. Canada took a 49-39 lead into halftime. The third quarter consisted of much the same as the Canadian crew kept the Angolan squad at bay while slightly building on their lead. By the end of the third the Canadians had four players in double figures (Joseph, Nicholson, Heslip, & Sacre) and a 66-53 lead. In the fourth the Canadians found another gear, outscoring Angola 23-12 in the final frame on route to an 89-65 victory. Five players finished in double figures; the aforementioned four as well as Phillip Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.).
Canadian Head Coach Jay Triano was elated with how his team competed today:
“What a great way to finish off our tour. We played very well both offensively and defensively keeping the African champions frustrated. Our players grew, competed, learned the international game, and kept getting better as our tour went on.”
Triano summed up his thoughts on the Euro trip by adding:
“I'm really pleased with the fact that we competed with some very good teams. We are still a very young international team and these 11 games were very helpful in our development.”
Canada concludes their European tour with a record of five wins and six losses, and in the process demonstrated that they have what it takes to hang with the world’s best. The SMNT will now travel from Granada to Seville, Spain from where they will fly out and return home to Toronto, Ont. on August 13, 2014.
Full box score of today’s match-up can be found here: https://twitter.com/CanBball/status/499283331188412416
Full Team Canada roster can be found here: http://www.basketball.ca/-canada-basketball-2014-men-s-national-team-roster-announced-p156657