USA Puts the hurt on Cadet National Team, Canada to Fight for Bronze
CANCUN, MEXICO— Canada’s Cadet Men’s National Team fell to the top team from Group B, Team USA, 113 – 70 in the semi-finals of the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Men. The CMNT were in for a tough game and battled throughout, but the USA was too much on this night, as they qualify for the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship and earn the right to play for gold against Argentina.
Canada got off to a slow start, allowing the USA to take a commanding 31-7 lead after the first quarter. The CMNT were more competitive in the second, but still faced a 63-28 deficit heading into halftime. Team USA continued to efficiently shoot the ball into the second half, with Aaron Gordon leading the way with a game-high 22 points. The CMNT showed signs of life in the final frame, out-scoring their opponents 26-21, but it was not enough.
Offensively, Team USA’s defensive pressure all game forced Canada to shoot 34% from the field. The CMNT were led by Malcolm Duvivier (Toronto, ON) and Anthony Pate (Oakville, ON) with 10 points each. Chris McComber (Nepean, ON) and Chris Egi (Toronto, ON) each chipped in with 9 points apeice. Despite the loss, Miroslav Jaksic (Windsor, ON) had a break-out game coming off the bench, just missing a double-double with 9 points and a team-high 8 rebounds.
With the loss, Canada will play in the bronze medal game against Puerto Rico, who lost their semi-final game to Argentina. Canada will look to avenge their previous loss to Puerto Rico in preliminary play and take home a medal for the second straight time in this tournament. The winner of the bronze medal game will join Argentina and the USA in Lithuania next summer in the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Men.
Game time for Canada versus Puerto Rico is set for 6:00 pm local time (7:00 pm ET) on Saturday, June 25. The game will be broadcast live online at http://www.fibaamericas.com. Game summary and boxscore will be posted on http://www.basketball.ca.