“I’m very proud of our guys and their effort today. We got off to a slow start and had to grind it out,” said Dave DeAveiro. “We put ourselves in a good position to win the game but we were a few bounces too short.”
Jamal Murray (Kitchener, Ont.) led Canada in scoring, dropping a game-high 24 points on 7-22 shooting. His eight rebounds was also a game-high.
Canada had a sluggish first quarter, getting out-rebounded 13-3 and conceding 27 points while only scoring 16. Serbia continued to pound the offensive boards in the second, eventually pushing the lead to 13. The Cadets would rally, trimming the lead to seven going in to halftime.
Canada’s defensive adjustments were able to cut off the Serbian offence, holding them scoreless for the opening five minutes of the second half. The Cadet team would make their run and take their first lead at the halfway point of the third quarter, with the margin going as high as six. Serbia only scored five points in the third quarter, and Canada held a 55-52 advantage.
The Canadian offence disappeared in the fourth quarter, as the Cadets only scored nine points while Serbia put up 19. An 11-2 run from the Serbians in the back-end of the fourth quarter put Canada away.
Key factors in the loss were three-point shooting and rebounding. Canada lost the rebounding battle 42-38 and tied the three-point contest as both teams made eight of 25 attempts.
The loss puts Canada in the classification round, where the highest the team can finish is 5th and lowest is 8th. The next game will be August 15 against China. Tip-off time is to be determined.
“Tomorrow we play a tough Chinese team so we have to put today behind us and be ready for them,” said DeAveiro.
Statistics from Canada vs. Serbia can be found here: http://www.fiba.com/ls/#6224&10284-39-A#
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