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Canada basketball
Holly MacKenzie

Senior Men's National Team falls to hosts Brazil in FIBA AmeriCup 2022 opener

RECIFE, Brazil (September 2, 2022) -- The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team dropped a 72-63 decision to host team Brazil at the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 at Geraldão Arena in front of a sold-out crowd.

Brazil was led by a 13-point performance from Yago Santos as well as 11 points from Leonardo Meindl and 10 points from George De Paula.

Dalano Banton led all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds for Canada, while Trae Bell-Haynes had 12 points and eight rebounds and Kalif Young added 11 points.

Canada shot just 33 percent in the loss, including 3-for-28 from beyond the arc. In comparison, Brazil connected on 9-of-33 attempts from deep and 38 percent of their field goal attempts.

Things were close to start. After trading baskets, a floater from Jahvon Henry-Blair put Canada in front by a point, 11-10, with 5:07 remaining. A turnaround from Young extended that lead to three points, but Didi Louzada scored inside for Brazil to trim the lead to a point.

After a floater for Santos brought Brazil within a point with 1:36 remaining in the quarter, a layup from Lucas Mariano moved Brazil in front by one. After a turnover for Canada and a made free throw by Rafa Mineiro, the Brazilians held a 17-15 lead after the opening 10 minutes.

Canada opened the scoring in the second quarter with an alley-oop from Jaylen Babb Harrison to Young. A layup for Meindl extended Brazil’s lead to four points with seven minutes remaining in the half, but Canada’s Devonte Bandoo drilled a fadeaway jumper to trim the deficit to just two points, before a huge stepback three-pointer from De Paula put Brazil up six with 4:32 remaining in the half. After getting within three points on a floater from Banton, Canada allowed Brazil to close the half on a 5-0 run to take an eight-point lead, 32-24, into the half.

Banton opened the second-half scoring with a three-pointer to get Canada within five points. A layup from Cristiano Felicio extended Brazil’s lead back to eight, 41-33, with 5:09 remaining in the third. After Bell-Haynes hit a floater and then assisted on an alley oop with Young, Canada was within four as Brazil called a timeout with 4:15 remaining in the third.

Canada crashed the offensive glass, resulting in a bucket from Henry-Blair to tie the game at 41 points apiece with 3:08 remaining in the quarter. Henry-Blair was fouled on the shot and made the free throw as well to put Canada in front 42-41. After a free throw from Meindl and then a layup from Lucas Mariano, Brazil led by two. Bell-Haynes came right back with a layup of his own, but Marcelinho Heurtas closed the quarter with a pair of free throws to keep Brazil in front by four heading into the fourth.

Like the third, Banton opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a layup. Free throws from Thomas Kennedy tied the game at 50 points with nine minutes remaining. A turnaround jumper from Banton moved Canada in front by one with 6:16 remaining, but De Paula scored inside to extend Brazil’s lead to three. After a 24-second shot-clock violation for Canada, Santos drilled a pull-up three-pointer to extend the advantage to six, 50-54, with 3:29 to go. A miss from deep for Bell-Haynes, before Lucas Dias connected on a three had Brazil in front by nine with 2:42 remaining as Canada called timeout.

Bell-Haynes was fouled out of the timeout, making both free throws. On Canada’s next possession, Banton was fouled, making one of two free throws to get Canada within seven, but Santos responded with another huge three for Brazil with 1:56 remaining. After another three, this one from Dias, Brazil led by 11 with 1:23 remaining as Canada ran out of time to complete the comeback.

Up next for Canada is a meeting with Uruguay at 4:40 p.m. ET on Saturday, live on DAZN.