Junior National Team Advance despite loss to Lithuania

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LIEPAJA, LATVIA– Canada’s Junior Men’s National Team (JMNT) wrapped up the preliminary round of the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship with a 111-68 loss to Lithuania (2-1) on Saturday. The loss brings Canada’s record to 1-2 at the tournament, but will still move onto the next round for finishing in the top three of Group C.

Lithuania led from the start, as they took a convincing 29-13 lead after the first quarter and showed no signs of letting up, as they took a 61-28 lead into halftime. The JMNT were more competitive in the second half, but were still out-played by Lithuania, who were led by a game-high 22 points from point guard, Vytenis Cizauskas. Toronto Raptors’ 2011 first round pick, Jonas Valanciunas made the most of his 14 minutes, scoring 15 points, while grabbing 9 rebounds.

Canada’s high scoring offense, which was second only to USA in points per game heading into today’s game, was held to just 36% shooting from the field. Dyshawn Pierre (Whitby, Ont.) led the team with 10 points and nine rebounds. After the first round, Pierre ranks 11th in tournament scoring (16.3 per game) and 4th in rebounding (10.0 per game).

Olivier Hanlan (Gatineau, Que.) and Phil Scrubb (Richmond, B.C.) had solid contributions off the bench, scoring 8 each; while Sim Bhullar (Brampton, Ont.) also added 8.

The JMNT will continue on to the next round and play on Monday, July 4 against USA at 2:30 pm local time (7:30 am ET). They then play Tuesday, July 5 against Egypt at 10:00 am local time (3:00 am ET), and conclude second round play against Serbia on Wednesday July 6 at 12:15 pm local time (5:15 am ET). All games will take place in Riga, Latvia.

Every Team Canada game can be followed via FIBA Live Stats at http://www.latvia2011.fiba.com. Game summary and boxscore will be posted on http://www.basketball.ca following every game in the next round.

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