(MEXICO CITY, MEXICO) – The Men’s National Team dropped the first game of the FIBA Americas Men’s Championship, losing 94-87 to Argentina in Mexico City, Mexico.
“It’s a good experience for us. I thought they controlled the game – the point guards controlled the game. It’s not the outcome we wanted, we beat them the last two times we played them. They were more up to the task than we were today,” said Head Coach Jay Triano.
Andrew Wiggins scored 13 points to lead Canada. Orchestrating the offence was Cory Joseph, who scored eight points with seven assists. Luis Scola was the game’s star, scoring 35 points on 13-26 shooting with 13 rebounds. For full box score, click here.
Canada opened the first quarter on an 11-6 run behind a balanced scoring attack. Argentina’s bench made a difference, breaking down the perimeter defence and moving the ball around. Despite the bounce back, Canada still held a three-point advantage and won the quarter 20-17.
The Men’s National Team had their moments in the second quarter but Argentina would win the quarter. Scola gave Canada fits with his touch inside and he was supported by a dynamic backcourt that could drive and kick. Wiggins scored five straight to give Canada a 36-33 advantage but an Argentina run in the final minutes gave them a 46-42 lead at half.
Scola would be the story of the third quarter. Canada jumped out to a lead with a 7-0 run, but Scola settled in immediately and flipped the game. The veteran scored 18 points in the period, drawing fouls and hitting fade away jumpshots to lead the 25-24 quarter. Argentina was up 71-66 at the end of three quarters.
Canada started the quarter with ball movement on offence but gave up extra chances with poor rebounding. The Men’s National Team could find an offensive rhythm and Argentina did enough to win the game. A late Canadian rally was held off and they would fall 94-87 in the opening game.
“I think tomorrow, we just got to bring it, bring lots of energy. Keep doing what we’ve been doing the past two weeks; playing together, playing as one, moving the ball. When we do that kind of stuff, the ball goes in the basket,” said Kelly Olynyk.
Canada looks to get the first victory of the tournament tomorrow when they take on Cuba. Coverage starts on TSN and TSN GO at 3:00 pm EST.
For full FIBA Americas roster, click here.
For more information about the FIBA Americas Men’s Championship, click here.
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