Serbia Freezes Ambitions of Canadian Junior National Team
RIGA, LATVIA–The Canadian Junior Men’s National Team (JMNT) fell to Serbia (4-2) 94-73 at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men on Wednesday, ending the team’s chances to advance to the quarter-finals.
Canada (2-4) will now compete for a best-possible ninth place as the tournament moves towards the classification round beginning on Friday and even though its disappointing to not be able to potentially compete for a medal, JMNT head coach Greg Francis is proud of the tenacity his team has shown throughout the tournament.
“I’m really proud of our guys and how they’d try to stick together even though we played some tough competition,” he said in a post-game interview with FIBA.
“Nothing came easy for us. But at the same time, the guys tried to stick together and tried to fight as a good Canadian team should.”
Junior Lomomba (Montreal, Que.) scored a game-high 14 points while Sim Bhullar (Toronto, Ont.) went 5-of-6 from the floor – good for 11 points.
For Serbia, Djordje Drenovac matched Lomomba’s 14 to lead a very balanced Serbian attack that saw six different players score in double-digits.
The Serbians shot the ball well, connecting on 59.1 percent of their shots, including a impressive 8-of-14 from behind the 3-point line. In contrast, Canada shot the ball well at 46 percent in the contest, but just 6-of-24 from beyond the arc.
Serbia’s efficiency on offence proved to be the difference as it resulted in a 47-26 advantage at the half, negating an excellent 27-point fourth quarter from the Canucks.
Canada’s next game will be on Friday as a part of the classification round to determine the ninth through 12th place finishers in the tournament with its opponent and the time of the game still to be determined.
The game will be able to be followed via FIBA Live Stats at http://www.latvia2011.fiba.com.