Canada earns first win at the exhibition tournament
(TORONTO, ON) – The Men’s National Team opened the 2015 Tuto Marchand Continental Cup with a 85-80 victory over Argentina in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“That was a very good first game for us. Argentina is a good basketball team, they stayed right with us,” said Head Coach Jay Triano. “For a lot of our players, it’s the first time on the senior national team and we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.”
Andrew Wiggins was the stand-out for Canada. In his senior team debut, Wiggins scored 18 points on 6-13 shooting with a pair of threes. Anthony Bennett carried his strong Pan Am Games performance into the Tuto Marchand, logging a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Luis Scola led Argentina with 23 points. For full box score, click here.
Canada opened the first quarter with an impressive offensive display. Andrew Wiggins shot 3-3 with a pair of triples to lead the team to an 11-14 shooting performance. Luis Scola of Argentina kept it close, scoring 11 points in the quarter. The athleticism from Canada gave their opponents trouble and the Men’s National Team led 30-23.
The second quarter revolved around defence. Argentina moved the ball around the perimeter well but could not hit their jump shots as Canada closed out strong. The Men’s National Team struggled to establish a rhythm as they mixed lineups throughout the quarter. Anthony Bennett capped the quarter with an impressive put-back dunk and Canada won 15-14 to lead 45-37 at the break.
Defence was the story of the third quarter as well. The length and versatility of Team Canada was disruptive to Argentina’s passing. Kelly Olynyk caused problems, getting to the rim and drawing fouls. The offence would dry up but Canada still won the period 15-13.
Although Canada held a 15-point advantage in the third, Argentina rallied and tied the game late. The Men’s National Team weathered the storm and endured physical play. Despite scoring 30 points, Argentina could not grab a lead. Wiggins played the role of closer, hitting a baseline jump-shot with 26 seconds left and Dwight Powell nailed clutch free throws to seal the 85-80 win.
“I thought it was a good, hard-fought game. It was physical, both teams played well. We’ve got a new group of guys so we’re still coming together. You can see that we’re getting more fluid with what we do,” said Andrew Wiggins.
Canada will take on Brazil at 5:45 pm EST on August 24. The game will be streamed onLiveBasketball.TV.
For full Tuto Marchand Continental Cup roster, click here.
For more information on the Tuto Marchand tournament, click here.
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