The Canadian U18 men’s team finished in third place in Group A of the FIBA U18 Americas Championship with an 70-68 win over Brazil.
The shooting woes for Canada seemed to subside early, bouncing back from the loss against Argentina where they shot just 5 per cent from beyond the arch. The Canadians coupled the opening threes with driving the ball relentlessly, forcing Brazil to commit fouls to prevent easy buckets, but Brazil responded with a physical attack inside of their own and pulled the lead to 16-13 after one.
Vasean Allette stuffed the stat sheet once again with 18 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Canada’s shooting began to falter around him throughout the second half of the game and despite some miscommunications defensively, Brazil stuck around with Reynan Camilo Dos Santos leading all scorers with 28 points.
For Canada, Thomas Ndong had 11 points and seven rebounds, Elijah Fisher had 11 points, six rebounds and Bubu Benjamin was a contributor to the three-point attack with seven points.
Team Canada (Courtesy FIBA)
After the half, Canada began pulling away by finding advantages where they could. For a brief moment Canada dominated rebounding before Brazil pulled it back nearly even, and Canada was able to capitalize on a majority of Brazil’s miscommunications with 22 points coming off of turnovers.
Eduardo Bersch Klafke, who had 11 points in the contest banked in a three pointer with under a minute to go and Canada was unable to draw a foul on the following possession giving Brazil the ball with 14 seconds remaining, but some suffocating defence from Benjamin and Fisher forced an off balance shot to seal the victory.
Canada fell short of the six-point victory required to finish first in the group and will place third on point differential. They’ll face Puerto Rico, on Friday June 10, who finished second in Group B after a one-day rest. The Puerto Rican forward duo of Edir Ortiz and Alejandro Aviles, who are both averaging better than 10 points and six rebounds, will be the matchup the Canadians need to watch for with no notable three-point threat on the perimeter.
Canada’s Michael Nwoko (Courtesy FIBA)
For link to watch Canada/Puerto Rico click HERE!
Group stage standings click HERE
Quarterfinals game times Friday June 10th:
Brazil vs. Dominican Republic (2:30pm est.)
Puerto Rico vs. Canada (5pm est.)
Argentina vs. Ecuador (7:30pm est.)
United States vs. Mexico (10pm est.)
Game 3: Canada vs. Brazil BOXSCORE click HERE & video below: