The opening day of the FIBA AmeriCup 2022 was filled with upsets and Canada continued its run of poor performances against Brazil in Americas tournaments with a 72-63 opening day loss to the host country. 

Brazil has had Canada’s number in Americas tournaments over the last two decades, holding six wins in their last eight meetings in the tournaments dating back to 2003. 

The game started with both teams trading baskets and Toronto Raptors guard Dalano Banton led all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds in his debut for the Canadian Senior Men’s National Team, but the Canadian offence fell apart in the second quarter, with Brazil holding them to nine points and taking a 32-24 lead into half time. 

Brazil’s offence was led by Yago Santos, a young guard playing for Ratiopharm Ulm in Germany, who had 13 points and three rebounds off the bench. Former Chicago Bulls player Cristiano Felicio gave the Canadian front court fits in just 15 minutes of playing time, while he scored just six points, he grabbed eight rebounds and was a force setting screens. 

Felicio’s front court mate, Leonardo Meindl, had 11 points and nine rebounds to go with two steals, and George De Paula had 10 points and four assists. 

Canada’s offence bounced back in the second half with solid showings from former CEBL stand out Trae Bell-Haynes, who had 12 points, eight rebounds and Scarborough Shooting Stars big man Kalif Young had 11 points and four rebounds. Despite the comeback performance in the third quarter, Canada was unable to cut into Brazil’s lead and the home country took their first victory of the tournament. 

Elsewhere, Mexico took a massive 73-67 upset win over USA, who have a number of players looking to find their way back to the NBA through good showings, including Patrick McCaw and Norris Cole. 

The Canadian team will rebound quickly, playing Uruguay, who opened their AmeriCup run with a 70-64 loss to Columbia, on Saturday before getting a day off on Sunday.  

Canada vs. Brazil boxscore click HERE. 

Team Canada (Courtesy FIBA)

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