TIJUANA, MEXICO (June 7, 2022) - The Canadian U18 Men’s National Team opened play in Mexico at the FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2022 with an 83-75 victory over the host team at Auditorio Zonkeys inTijuana, Mexico on Monday. The victory came after Canada led throughout, but had to fend off a furious push from Mexico in the final quarter.
Vasean Allette led all scorers with 19 points in the victory for Canada, while Elijah Fisher added 11 points. Jordann Dumont, David Simon and Mikkel Tyne added eight points apiece as Canada led for all but 14 seconds of the game. Victor Valdes and Santiago Camacho each finished with 16 points to lead Mexico in defeat.
After controlling things from the first quarter on, Canada led by 12 to start the fourth. Mexico opened the quarter with back-to-back three-pointers to trim Canada's lead to six and force Canada into a quick timeout. The teams traded misses and makes until a three from Josue Ocampo brought Mexico within a point and then a layup for Valdes gave Mexico its first lead of the game, 63-62, with 7:03 remaining.
Despite watching the lead evaporate, Canada stayed calm under pressure. Tynes connected on a huge three to put the Canadians back in front by two, and then after a pair of missed free throws from Mexico, it was Tyne again coming up big for the Canadians. This time Tyne delivered a layup plus a made technical foul free throw to help Canada build the lead back to six with 4:05 remaining. With both teams struggling to score down the stretch, a pair of layups from KC Ibekwe extended Canada’s lead to nine. Mexico wouldn’t get any closer than five the rest of the way through.
Canada shot 39 percent in the game compared to 34 percent shooting for Mexico. While Canada attempted 33 free throws, the team connected on just 19 attempts, shooting 58 percent at the line. Mexico made 14-of-28 free throws (50 percent). Canada won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding Mexico 63-42, including 20-14 on the offensive glass. Though this was the first game for Canada and the Team Canada debut for much of the roster, the team's 18 turnovers will be something the group will look to improve upon moving forward.
Though Mexico made the fourth a battle, Canada was in control the rest of the way, turning a one-point lead after the opening quarter into a 10-point lead at the half, and extending the lead to 16 midway through the third quarter.
Up next for Canada will be a matchup against Argentina on Tuesday, June 7 at 9 p.m. ET.