Rio 2016 Olympic berth on the line at tomorrow’s FIBA Americas final
(EDMONTON, AB) August 15 – The Women’s National Team will play for the gold medal and a Rio 2016 Olympic berth after beating Brazil 83-66 at the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship in Edmonton, Alberta.
“I’m happy with the result. Brazil really challenged us and had a really good game-plan against us. We needed to play very well to beat them today and that was a great game to have to win to get through to the final,” said Head Coach Lisa Thoamidis.
Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe led the way for Team Canada, scoring 18 points on 7-8 shooting from the field. Miranda Ayim was a force on either end, dropping 11 points and finishing with two blocks. The Canadian bench pitched in with 30 points. For Brazil, it was Iziane Castro Marques who led the losing effort with 15 points. For full box score, click here.
Canada was in unfamiliar territory in the first quarter. Through four games, the Women’s National Team dominated the opening quarter but Brazil held a 14-12 lead five minutes in. Team Canada would bounce back and grab a 27-22 lead at the buzzer after settling in offensively.
The Women’s National Team put on a passing display to start the second quarter. Brazil’s zone started to crack as the ball whipped around the court and Team Canada made their open shots. Brazil rallied to bring their deficit to two, but Canada would head to the locker room with a 45-39 advantage.
In front of a charged up Edmonton crowd, Canada traded buckets with Brazil but showed positive signs. The team was able to get to the rim consistently and put pressure on the forwards of the Brazilian squad. A Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe lay-up pushed the lead to a game-high 13 points and Canada finished the quarter with a 70-53 advantage.
The fourth quarter was tight but Canada locked down defensively. Brazil pushed to overcome the sizable difference but the Women’s National Team was too much to handle. Canada won the quarter 13-11 for a final score of 83-66.
“The coaches push me and motivate me, they tell me to attack and they know I can do. Having them believe in me pushed me to attack tonight and take it to Brazil,” said Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe.
Canada will meet Cuba at the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship final. The winner of the final earns a berth at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship will be live on TSN and TSN GO at 6:00 p.m. MT, 8:00 p.m. EST.
For the Women’s National Team roster and coaching staff, click here.
For details on the tournament, go to www.fibaamericas.com/can2015/en