(Toronto, Ont.) – Facing the No. 2 ranked team in the world in their arena was no easy task, but Canada was able to hang tough with Spain, falling 82-70 in Coruna, Spain.
“Spain’s strength and power inside were too much for us early on. Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka combined for 50 points,” said head coach Jay Triano. “In the second half, we were able to spread the floor and get into our drive and kick game. This was a great test for our young players against one to the top teams in the world, loaded with NBA All-Stars and in their own country.”
Cory Joseph (Toronto, Ont.) was the leading scorer for Canada, tallying 19 points on 8-17 shooting. His four assists were also the most for the men’s national team.
Pau Gasol produced 20 points on 7-15 shooting, while grabbing seven rebounds. The Spanish national team showed what international basketball looks like, finishing with 17 assists on 28 made field goals.
Spain came out with intent to begin the game, going on an early run that put distance between the two sides. Three-point shooting and solid rim protection led to Spain’s 25-12 first quarter lead.
“We lacked energy in the first quarter, but it was our sixth game in six days. Our guys fought through it,” said Triano.
After one half, Canada faced an uphill battle. Spain hit the locker room with a 47-29 advantage, but adjustments allowed Canada to chip away at the lead.
Heading into the fourth, the Spanish lead was at only 13, and the Canadians were able to bring it to within nine before a timeout was called and Spain put an end to the comeback attempt.
Canada outscored Spain in the second half, 45-35.
“I was proud of the way we showed up in the third, but Olynyk’s foul trouble hurt us down the stretch,” Triano said.
After six games in six days, Canada will have a three-day gap before playing Turkey on August 10. Tip-off is set for 4:00 a.m. EST.
Full schedule and roster can be found here: http://www.basketball.ca/senior-men-s15141