(Toronto, Ont.) – Canada kept its winning ways going during its European series with an 83 – 66 victory over the Republic of Georgia in Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia.
Canada, playing for the third time in three days as part of its 11-game tour, built momentum late in the first quarter that carried them the rest of the game.
“They shot 53 per cent from the floor and I thought our defense led us to some easy transition points,” said Jay Triano, Canada’s head coach. “Our transition defense will be key for us in the future as we continue to grow into the team we want to be.”
The transition defence enabled Canada to move the ball against Georgia allowing them to spread the scoring around with three players in double digits.
Brady Heslip (Burlington, Ont.) led Canada with 14 points, Andrew Nicholson (Mississauga, Ont.) followed with 13 points and Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, B.C.) had 12 points.
Canada was also strong on the boards out rebounding Georgia 43 – 33. Nicholson had a game high eight while Olynyk followed with six rebounds.
The balanced play saw Cory Joseph (Toronto, Ont.) lead with five assists as Canada moved the ball successfully.
Zaza Pachulia and Beka Burjanadz led Georgia with 11 points each.
Canada got off to a slow start but rallied to tie Georgia at 17 – 17 at the end of the first quarter.
Canada carried its momentum through the second quarter and into the half leading 42-32. Jordan Baker (Edmonton, A.B.) led Canada with nine points. Canada began to control the boards with a 21 to 16 advantage. Andrew Nicholson led Canada claiming four rebounds.
Georgia surged after the half closing the gap to within 4 points.
A time out with just over 2 minutes left in the 3rd refocused Canada’s play enabling them to extend the lead to 66 – 54 at the end of the quarter. Andrew Nicholson’s rebounding and scoring led Canada going into the 4th quarter.
Canada’s starting line-up was Junior Cadougan, Phil Scrubb, Jordan Baker, Dwight Powell and Kelly Olynyk.(Full roster: http://www.basketball.ca/-canada-basketball-2014-men-s-national-team-roster-announced-p156657)
Canada will spend the remainder of the week in Slovenia training. On Friday, August 1, Canada plays against Croatia in Zlavoski, Croatia.
A full schedule of the tour can be found here: http://www.basketball.ca/full-european-schedule-for-canada-basketball-men-s-national-team-p156673