Birmingham, England (July 31, 2022) - The Canadian Men’s 3x3 team defeated Sri Lanka 21-8 at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on Sunday. The win moves the Canadians to 2-1 in pool play as the team advances to quarterfinals.
“To get into the next round is a good feeling,” Jordan Jensen-Whyte said. “I thought we made some improvements today. We had a tough loss the other night so it’s nice to execute some of the things we worked on. There’s still more to work on, but we’re in a good position.”
The Canadians were led by an eight-point performance from Bikramjit Gill, and the team shot 15-for-19 from the floor in the win. Sri Lanka struggled offensively, making 6-of-16 shots from inside the arc and 1-of-9 attempts from long range.
A drive from Jensen-Whyte got Canada on the board with a 1-0 lead and the Canadians didn’t look back. Canada never trailed in the game, opening a 10-3 lead after a dunk from Adam Paige that was assisted by Alex Johnson.
After Yogananthan Simron hit the lone two-point shot in the game to get Sri Lanka within five with 5:44 remaining, Canada started to push and stepped up their defence, allowing just two more points the rest of the way through.
A pair of free throws from Paige extended Canada’s lead to 17-8 with 2:46 remaining. Johnson scored on a drive and then Gill made a pair of free throws to make it 20-8 Canada with 1:49 on the clock. After a block from Gill on the defensive end, Johnson scored on a drive to secure the 21-8 win for Canada with 1:36 still on the clock.
“The venue has been outstanding,” Jansen-Whyte said. “The competition has been great. Just being around all of the other athletes too, hearing all of the stories they have has been an amazing experience. Obviously being Canadian, I’m so proud to be here representing Canada.”
Up next for the Canadians is a meeting with New Zealand in the quarterfinals on Monday at 10 a.m. ET.
Canada’s Sarah Te-Biasu had 12 points to lead all scorers as she shot 5-for-8 from inside the arc and 3-for-5 from two-point range in the loss.
“It was a tough matchup,” Te-Biasu said. “England played well, and they had their crowd. It was a good game and a good win for England.
“We were aggressive,” she continued. “We [knew we] had to be aggressive, because they had their crowd and we didn’t let that disrupt us. We played hard and were aggressive…We played hard on defence, too.”
In a back-and-forth battle to start, England began to pull away on a two-point shot from Hannah Jump to give England a five-point lead, 9-4 with 6:27 remaining. A drive to the basket and then a free throw from Te-Biasu brought Canada within three, but Jump responded with her second two-point shot of the game to keep England in front by five.
A two-pointer from Te-Biasu again brought Canada within three, but England continued to respond whenever Te-Biasu trimmed the deficit. A drive from Shanice Beckford-Norton made it 19-15 England with 1:09 remaining, but Taya Hanson hit a two of her own to get Canada back within two, 19-17, with 28 seconds remaining. A score for England with 16 seconds remaining made it 20-17 and then Beckford-Norton scored as time expired to give England the victory, 21-17.
“I know it's a tough loss for us,but we’re onto the next one,” Te-Biasu said. “We’ve just got to keep going, keep playing hard. I know it’s going to be a little tough, but it’s all mental. We’ve got to play hard again.”
Up next for Canada is a meeting with Scotland in the quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday.