DAUGAVPILS, LATVIA (July 7, 2021) - The Canadian U19 Men’s National Team booked their ticket to the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 quarter-finals with a landslide 86-56 win over Puerto Rico on Wednesday night in the Round of 16.
Canada was led by Caleb Houstan who had a game-high 14 points, to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Having previously played alongside Houstan in highschool at Montverde Academy, Ryan Nembhard shared his excitement about his teammates' performance in today’s game.
“[Houstan] is just a great player and his game has developed a lot and I think he’s able to come over here and show a little bit more of his skill,” said Nembhard.
Nembhard (13 points, 10 assists), Elijah Fisher (14 points, 3 steals) and Bennedict Mathurin (13 points, 3 rebounds) each filled up the box score for Canada in the victory. Rafael Pinzon led Puerto Rico in scoring with 12 points.
Strong defensive performances from Zac Edey (10 points, 8 rebounds) and Nana Owusu-Anane (7 points, 8 rebounds) were another main reason Canada was able to easily remain unbeaten in the tournament.
“In the first couple of games we were getting killed on the boards, so that was the main focus and we worked on that in practice and made that emphasis and it’s paid off in the last two games,” said Nembhard.
After a day of rest tomorrow, Canada will face Spain in the quarter-finals on Friday, July 9th at 5:00 AM ET, live on DAZN.
When asked about how he was feeling about his team's performance this far in the tournament, Canadian centre Charles Bediako said, “I have been playing FIBA for five teams now and finally this is my year. I have never before gone 3-0 in pool play so it feels really good.”
All games at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup are streamed live and free on the FIBA YouTube Channel. The FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 in Latvia runs until July 11th.