(TORONTO, ON) – The Men’s National Team won their third-straight game at the 2015 Tuto Marchand Continental Cup, beating the Dominican Republic 86-74 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“I think both teams got off to a real slow start in the game but we were able to get things going in the second quarter and have a big half time lead,” said head coach Jay Triano. “We let them back in the game. I thought they were more aggressive in their defence and attacking the basket. We found a group of players and our guys responded to the challenge again after letting [a team] back in it.”
Brady Heslip provided a scoring punch off the bench, pouring in 14 points on 5-12 shooting. Anthony Bennett and Melvin Ejim combined for 24 points and 19 rebounds. The trend of rebounding dominance continued, with Canada grabbing 52 boards to Dominican Republic’s 29. Eloy Vargas scored 12 points in the loss. For full box score, click here.
Canada started the first quarter slowly. The Dominican Republic jumped out to a 7-4 lead before the Minnesota Timberwolves’ duo of Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins brought the team back. The Men’s National Team won the quarter 21-19 behind the duo’s 13 points.
The depth of Team Canada was on full display in the second quarter. Melvin Ejim had an impact all over the court, defending all areas of the court as well as hitting his shots. Canada hit three straight threes to grab a 43-27 lead. The Dominican Republic’s offence dried up and Canada hit the locker room with a 48-31 lead.
The Dominican Republic hung around in the third, taking advantage of transition opportunities to prevent the game from becoming a blowout. Canada could not connect on jump shots and the Dominicans used the opportunity to storm back. A shot at the buzzer cut Canada’s lead to 9, holding a 62-53 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Canada’s lead would be trimmed to five before the Men’s National Team turned up the defensive intensity. Bennett dominated in the paint, sparking a 15-0 run over six minutes in the fourth quarter. Canada won the period 24-21 to solidify the third win at the Tuto Marchand.
“[The Dominicans] came back in the third quarter, they were playing very hard. We know that they had about five of their key guys missing so the other guys really stepped up for them and played hard. We were able to make some shots at the end and bust it back open,” said Cory Joseph.
Canada will take on Puerto Rico at 8:00 pm EST on August 26. 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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