RECIFE, BRAZIL (Sept. 5, 2022) - The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team defeated Colombia 62-61 in a comeback thriller at the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 on Monday in Brazil. With the score tied at 61, Trae Bell-Haynes was fouled with 1.8 seconds remaining. After making his first free throw Canada led by a point. A three-point heave from Colombia was off the mark as time expired.
Canada trailed by 16 points in the game, and by as many as 12 in the fourth before using an impressive defensive effort in the final quarter to hold Colombia to just seven points as they completed their comeback.
Bell-Haynes finished with 19 points for Canada, while Dalano Banton had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. The duo combined to shoot 13-for-22 from the floor and 7-for-13 from beyond the arc in the victory as Banton scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth.
Colombia was led by an 18-point performance from Jaime Echenique, though Echenique scored just two of his 16 points in the second half. Juan Tello added 14 points in the loss.
After trailing by 12 to start the final quarter, Jahovn Henry-Blair hit a floater to get Canada within 10. Colombia responded with a basket, but Canada reeled off the next 11 points to get back within one. Banton’s third three of the game trimmed the deficit to single figures and then a steal and layup from Lloyd Pandi made it a seven-point game with 7:45 remaining. After a three-point play for Bell-Haynes, Canada was within four. Banton drove to the rim and scored while being fouled. After making his free throw to complete the three-point play, Canada was within a point with six minutes remaining.
A three-pointer from Colombia’s Hansel Atencia snapped Canada’s run, but Banton scored on a pullup three, his fourth three-pointer of the game, to keep Canada within one. Colombia led by three after a pull-up jumper from Juan Tello, but a three-point play for Banton tied the game at 61 points with 2:55 remaining. In a furious final 2:55, neither team was able to score until Bell-Haynes was fouled with 1.8 seconds remaining and connected on the game-winning free throw.
It was a grind-it-out victory where Canada shot 41 percent to Colombia’s 38 percent and led for just nine minutes of the game after falling behind in the second quarter. Though Canada led by five after the opening 10 minutes of action, Colombia opened the second quarter on a 12-0 run to take a seven-point lead before Canada’s first basket in the quarter came with 4:34 remaining in the half. A three-pointer from Banton got Canada within six points with 32 seconds remaining in the half, but Colombia responded with a jumper from Haynor Montaño to go into the half with an eight-point advantage, 38-30.
Colombia scored the first eight points of the second half, extending the advantage to 16 points before a score inside for Thomas Kennedy got Canada on the board. After a three from Banton, Canada was within 11 points with 6:56 remaining in the third. Back-to-back layups for Colombia’s Romario Roque extended Colombia’s lead to 15 points before a floater from Bell-Haynes. A layup from Pandi and then a three-pointer from Bell-Haynes had Canada within eight, but Colombia scored the final four points of the quarter to take a 12-point advantage into the fourth where they were outscored 20-7 by Canada.
Canada will play next on Thursday, time and opponent to be determined.