Team Canada picked up their first win the Group Phase of FIBA AmeriCup 2022 on day two after taking down Uruguay 84-78.
Canada once again started the game the game slow, allowing Uruguay to keep pace and take a 19-17 lead into the second quarter behind solid play from Joaquin Rodriguez, who led Uruguay in scoring with 21 points, six assists and three steals. Esteban Batista added 16 points and four rebounds for the Uruguayans as well.
Canada bounced back in the second quarter with a three-point shot from Toronto Raptors guard, Dalano Banton, giving them the lead. Banton had another impressive performance with 18 points, five rebounds and six assists, showing the versatility many touted during the 2021 NBA draft process.
While it appeared like Canada would take control of the game going into half time up five points, Uruguay struck back with a massive third quarter that saw them hold Canada’s offence to 12 points while taking a 61-54 lead into the fourth.
While Banton struggled to find help from elsewhere in their opening loss to Brazil, Newfoundland Growlers guard Jahvon Henry-Blair stepped up with a 23-point showing to help steady the sputtering offence late in the game and spurred the Canadians on to a 30-point showing in the final frame to secure the win.
Fellow Canadian Elite Basketball League standouts Kadre Gray and Thomas Kennedy also had good showings with Gray contributing 13 points, three rebounds and three assists to Canada’s win and Kennedy scoring nine points.
Canada now gets a brief break on Sunday but will return to action in the first game of Monday when they match up with Colombia, who are coming off a 100-40 loss to host nation Brazil on Saturday night. This will mark the end of the Group Phase for Canada, who will likely finish second behind the undefeated Brazil side, who is slated to face Uruguay later that day.
Canada vs. Uruguay boxscore click HERE.
Dalano Banton 18pts 5rebs 6asts (Courtesy FIBA)