HOW IT HAPPENED
- After being shutout until the 5:54 mark of the opening quarter, Dominican Republic responded with a 12-0 run, and at one point, held a seven-point lead over Canada in the first quarter.
- However, Canada closed the gap in the late stages of the first, with Paul Osaruyi leading the way. Osaruyi had eight of Canada’s 16 points in the first quarter and helped Canada go into the quarter-break with a 16-15 lead.
- After the teams were tied away at halftime, Dominican Republic pulled away in the third. Canada head coach Chris Cheng called timeout at the midway point of the quarter with his team trailing by nine and his team responded with a 12-0 run of their own in the final 4:21 of the quarter, helping them take a three-point lead into the fourth.
- Canada never relinquished the advantage and held the lead for the entirety of the fourth quarter.
- Patrick Anamali delivered the dagger for Canada, as the Calgary product’s transition lay-up gave the team a 57-50 lead with just 2:03 to go.
- Osaruyi was a difference-maker for Canada. The six-foot-eight forward from Scarborough, Ont. had eight of Canada’s 16 points in the first quarter, and finished the game with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks.
- Jordan Charles’ four-point play in the final seconds of the third quarter gave Canada a 46-43 lead heading into the fourth. Charles, who finished with 11 points, connected on another timely triple in the final quarter, helping Canada pull away and pick up the win.
- In the dying moments of the second quarter, Quinten Ethier connected on a triple at the buzzer to tie the game up at 31-31 — providing the highlight of the half for Canada. Ethier finished with seven points and six rebounds.
“What was said was ‘We need to play defence and crash boards.’ We did that in the rest of the third quarter, and in the fourth quarter. That’s how we came out with the win.” - Charles on Cheng’s message in the third quarter timeout.
“Representing Canada is such an honour. This is a team win first and foremost. Hopeful it will be the first of many for this group.” - Cheng on recording his first victory as a National Team head coach.
“When I got subbed in, the only thing on my mind was ‘Let’s get the win for the team, and the country.” - Charles on his big second half.
“What Paul was today is what we expect of him every day. He still has a lot to learn on how he can impact the game at both ends and that learning will come quickly playing this many games in a short tournament.” - Cheng on the strong play of Osaruyi.
- With the win, Canada remained undefeated (4-0) over Dominican Republic in FIBA U16 Men’s Americas Championship history. The countries last met in the bronze medal game of the 2021 edition of the tournament, a game Canada won 92-76 to claim third place.
- Osaruyi became only the third Canadian since 2015 to record a double-double in their first game at the FIBA U16 Men’s Americas Championship, joining Danilo Djuricic and Ignas Brazdeikis.
- Canada’s 10 blocks are the most by the team in a FIBA U16 Men’s Americas Championship game since a semifinal win over Paraguay in the 2017 edition of the tournament.
- Canada moved to 7-1 all-time in FIBA U16 Men’s Americas Championship opening games, having won the first game of the tournament every year since the tournament began, with the exception of 2021.
Canada will meet with Uruguay on Tuesday, as they look to move to 2-0. Uruguay fell to Brazil in the opening game of their tournament by a score of 83-55. Fans in Canada catch all the action streaming live on FIBA YouTube.