TORONTO/HAMILTON, Ontario – Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) won both games against Belgium at the 2011 Jack Donohue International Classic. On Saturday, August 13 at Ryerson University in Toronto, the SMNT beat Belgium 79-74, and on Sunday, August 14 at McMaster University in Hamilton, the SMNT won 74-68.
In the first game of the Jack Donohue International Classic, Canada played in front of a standing-room only crowd at Ryerson University. Andy Rautins (Syracuse, NY) had a game-high 26 points to lead the team in victory and earned Player of the Game honours for Canada. Jermaine Anderson (Toronto, ON), playing in front of his hometown crowd, scored 18 points.
On the defensive end, Joel Anthony (Montreal, QC) grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, in his return to Canada.
Canada got off to a quick start, leading by five after the first quarter and maintained a 34-28 lead after the first half. To start the second half, the raucous crowd was brought to their feet when Levon Kendall (Vancouver, BC) had a breakaway dunk, as he was fouled. This sparked a scoring run for Canada, giving them a 13 point lead heading into the fourth quarter. In the fourth, Belgium chipped away at the lead, but three-pointers by Anderson and free-throws by Rautins sealed the win for Canada.
Dimitri Lauwers, garnered Player of the Game honours for Belgium scoring 11 points, playing in a game-high 31 minutes.
Prior to the game, ten year veteran, Levon Kendall was honoured for playing 100th game with the National Team program last summer during the FIBA World Championship in Turkey. Kendall started his career with the National Team Program in 2002 when he was a member of the Junior Men’s National Team.
During halftime, the Canada’s 1991 FISU team was honoured for winning the silver medal at the World University Games.
The game also marked the debut of San Antonio Spurs’ first round pick, Cory Joseph (Pickering, ON) on the Senior Men’s National Team.
In the second game of the Jack Donohue International Classic, Canada played to a capacity crowd at McMaster University. Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, BC) earned the Player of the Game award for Canada, scoring 16 points, shooting 6-10 from the field, and grabbing seven rebounds.
Carl English (St. John’s, NL) scored 11; while Rautins added 10. Kendall grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds.
The SMNT got out to a narrow two point lead after the first quarter, but thanks to a strong second quarter, where they out-scored Belgium 22-11, Canada headed into halftime with a 39-26 lead. To start the second half, Belgium cut the lead to 5, but baskets by Olynyk, Anderson and Denham Brown helped Canada maintain an eight point lead heading into the final frame. In the fourth quarter, the crowd was electrified by a Rautins three-pointer and a block by Anthony, which was one of his four blocks of the game.
Axel Hervelle earned Player of the Game honours for Belgium by scoring 15 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and made all 3 of his three-point attempts.
The SMNT will now train at Ryerson University in Toronto then head to Brazil to compete at the Tuto Marchand Cup from August 24 – 26 as a tune-up for the FIBA Americas Championship. The Tuto Marchand Cup will be broadcasted online at FIBATV.com. For more information on the Tuto Marchand Cup, please click here.
Game reports and boxscores for each game will be posted at www.basketball.ca.