TIJUANA, MEXICO (June 11, 2022) - The Canadian U18 Men’s National Team dropped a 78-77 decision to Brazil in the semifinals of the FIBA U18 Americas Championship 2022 in Tijuana, Mexico on Saturday.
The loss came despite a 22-point performance from Vasean Allette and a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double from Michael Nwoko. It also happened despite Canada leading by as many as 23 points late in the first half. Brazil was led by 22 points from Reynan Camilo Dos Santos, 16 points from Gabriel Caldeira Oliveira and 14 points from Eduardo Bersch Klafke.
After dominating through the first half, Canada finished the game shooting 38 percent from the floor. Brazil shot 39 percent from the floor, including 32 percent from three where they made 14 three-pointers to just five for the Canadians. This came after a first half where Brazil could not get anything going offensively, shooting just 27 percent in the half.
Canada opened the game on a tear, winning the first quarter 30-17. The Canadians continued to roll in the second, building an 18-point lead at the halftime break where they outrebounded Brazil 31-15. Canada finished the game with a 57-39 advantage on the glass, including 26-17 on the offensive glass, but it didn’t matter when things flipped after halftime.
The third proved to be a nightmare for the Canadians who were outscored 30-13 in what was the most lopsided quarter of the game. Brazil opened the third by scoring eight straight points before Nwoko got Canada into the action with a layup. After a three-pointer from Guilherme Tesch set off another 8-0 run for Brazil, Canada called a timeout with the lead down to just four. Despite the best efforts of Allette and Nwoko to maintain the lead, Brazil’s sudden range from deep saw Canada going into the fourth with just a one-point advantage, 61-60.
The fourth was a back-and-forth between the two teams, until a three from Caldeira Oliveira and then a dunk from Camilo Dos Santos forced Canada into a timeout with 3:23 remaining, trailing by four. Valette scored out of the timeout by saving a broken play to get the layup to go, but a layup from Caldeira Oliveira extended Brazil’s advantage to four. Again, it was Allette who tied the game at 77 all on another layup with 43 seconds remaining as Brazil called timeout.
Out of the timeout, both teams missed three-point attempts and Bubu Benjamin got caught up with Caldeira Oliveira before being called for a foul that sent him to the free throw line with 2.3 seconds on the clock.
After Caldeira Oliveria missed his second free throw, Brazil secured the offensive rebound and Canada was forced to foul, sending Vitor Farias Cardoso to the line with 0.2 seconds remaining.
Cardoso missed both free throws, but time expired as Allettee came down with the defensive rebound.
The loss means that Canada will not advance to the tournament Finals, but will instead play in the third-place game on Sunday where they will face either Argentina or the United States at 5:30 p.m. ET.