With a 92-53 victory over Brazil, Canada has officially finished 2-1 in the group stage and is moving onto the FIBA U16 Americas Championship quarter-finals on Friday.
“The team played their hearts out against a competitive Brazil team, and they executed the game plan perfectly,” said Canadian head coach Patrick Tatham.
Efeosa Oliogu continued his coming out party with another solid 14-point performance and added a second windmill jam to his impressive reel of dunks from the tournament, but it was Fort Erie International Academy guard Ishan Sharma that led the way for the Canadians with 19 points.
“Great team win,” said Sharma. “I thought we did a great job on the defensive glass and offensively we were controlling the ball and getting out in transition a lot.”
The Canadian defence has turned into one of the best in the tournament after their 81-71 opening game loss to Argentina and tonight’s showing was the most impressive yet. Canada’s defence started out red hot, holding Brazil scoreless from three-point range in the opening quarter, and just allowed only three makes from deep all game.
Brazil struggled to find any consistency on offence against the length of Canada’s frontcourt, finding only eight assists in the game, while Canada shared the ball freely with 27 assists.
Olivier Rioux turned in another great performance with eight points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots and with the group phase coming to an end, Rioux stands as the tournament leader for rebounds at 11.7 per game and is second in blocks with 2.3 blocks per game.
Canada will have Thursday off before returning to face Puerto Rico on Friday in the quarter-finals on FIBA’s YouTube channel
“So proud of the boys tonight,” said Tatham. “Now we’re making our way to the quarter-finals where we will get an opportunity to punch our ticket to the U17 World Championships next year in Spain.”