FOZ DE IGAZU, BRAZIL – The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team (SMNT) kicked off the Tuto Marchand Cup with an 88-70 loss to host Brazil on Wednesday.
Carl English (St. John’s, NL) scored a game-high 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind-the-arc. His Canadian teammate Denham Brown (Toronto, ON) had 16 points while fellow Torontonian Jevohn Shepherd (Toronto, ON) scored 14 and collected seven rebounds.
Leading an extremely balanced Brazilian attack was Tiago Splitter and Rafael Hettsheimer, both scoring 14 points respectively.
Unfortunately for the Canadians, Brazil played very well from the opening tip, taking control of the lead and never relinquishing it.
Canada was outscored in the first half 45-18 but it had a much stronger second half, outscoring Brazil 52-43.
The experience gained from playing in this exhibition match – particularly the second half – should be invaluable to the SMNT as Brazil is one of the teams that is in the Canada’s group at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship for Men.
This entire Tuto Marchand Cup tune-up tournament should act as great experience for the upcoming FIBA Americas Championship in general as all the teams are ones that will be at the FIBA Americas Championship.
Up next for the SMNT is a matchup with Puerto Rico, a team that Canada will not see in its group at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship for Men. The game will begin at 7:00 PM local time (6:00 PM ET) and will be viewable on www.fibatv.com. Check www.basketball.ca for the post-game recap and box score.