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Canada U18 Men’s Team Falls in a Tight OT Contest to the Dominican Republic in Game One of Group Play at FIBA AmeriCup 2024

U18 Men


Jun 3, 2024

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (June 3, 2024) - Four Canadians finished in double-digits, but it wasn’t enough as Canada fell 77-79 to the Dominican Republic on day one of group play at the FIBA U18 Men’s AmeriCup 2024.

“[Ball movement] was definitely an emphasis in training camp and a pillar of our offense,” said head coach Ramón Díaz. “Every game is a growth opportunity; we will definitely grow from this.”

Although Canada started off slowly, 7’7 center Olivier Rioux put the team on the board with a quick dunk at 2-6. With that bucket, Canada went on a nine-point run to take the lead against the Dominican Republic.

For the Dominican Republic, they led in field goal shooting at the end of the first quarter. Lucas Morillo knocked down two three-pointers, leading the team with nine points at halftime. Canada was able to sustain the Dominican Republic, including a big block by Torian Lee, which led to a three-pointer for Canada. They finished out the first half on top by five points.

Canada came out strong in the second half, extending the lead to 39-30. Justus Haseley, the 6’2 Scarborough product, knocked down two free throws to boost Canada to 47-40. The team upped their defensive intensity, forcing the Dominican Republic to play down to the buzzer.

Ramogi Nyagudi and Jalen Rougier-Roane each made a three-pointer for Canada, giving them a ten-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Dominican Republic went on a run to make it a one-possession game. A pass from Efeosa Oliogu to Tristan Beckford for the and-one put Canada up 59-54 with six minutes to go in the game. Tristan Beckford finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, a team-high.

A triple from Justus Haseley, who finished with 11 points, six rebounds, and five assists, gave Canada the 65-56 lead with less than five minutes to play. The Dominican Republic made it a tie game with two minutes to go, 67-67.

With 11 seconds to go in the game, the score remained tied at 69-69. Canada came up with the steal but could not finish in transition, sending the game to overtime.

In OT, both teams traded shots. Frank Siaca of the Dominican Republic made the final floating jump shot to put the DR up 79-77 on Canada. A clean defensive possession by the Dominican Republic sealed the win, as Canada could not tie the game again.

“I think we showed a lot of character in that game as a group,” said coach Díaz. “Unfortunately, we didn’t close out the game like we wanted to, but I think we all understand what we need to do to take that next step.”

Canada starts group play 0-1 and will face Puerto Rico on Tuesday, June 4, at 11:40 a.m. ET / 8:40 a.m. PT. They will play one final game in group play on Wednesday before their quarter-final matchup this Friday.

Fans can stream the action LIVE on YouTube.

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