Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Canada Defeats Argentina but fails to advance after Korea shocks Turkey

6'6" Kai Williams had 25 points, including 17 after halftime, and added 11 rebounds plus a big block down the stretch to lead Canada (3-3) to a solid 87-82 victory over Argentina (3-3) as the "eight round" concluded at the FIBA World U19 basketball championships in Serbia. With the win, Canada put themselves in a position to advance to tomorrow's championship quarter-finals; however, Korea (2-4) shocked Turkey (3-3) earlier in the day, resulting in a 3 way tie for the two remaining Group F spots in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, Canada lost the tie breaker (margin points for and points against) and will now compete for 9th to 12th place spots beginning tomorrow. Canada did not trail after the first quarter in the game and withstood two late Argentinian runs as Williams again was a monster at both ends, scoring Canada's first 7 points of the second half as Canada grabbed a 52-43 lead and then helping seal the game on the foul line and with a key block with under 3 minutes remaining. Argentina made the game interesting late, getting the game back 2 with 1:53 remaining on back-to-back 3's by 6'0" Nicolas De Los Santos (24 points) but 6'2" Devoe Joseph (14 points on 5-15 shooting, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 turnovers) who had turned the ball over on 2 consecutive possessions allowing Argentina back in the game, knocked down a huge three on the next possession and Canada held on from there. 6'7" Boris Bakovic had another solid 17 point/13 rebound effort, energizing Canada early with 13 first-half points when starters D. Joseph, 6'6" Jon House and 6'8" Scott Brittain were all on the bench with 2 early fouls. Brittain added 10 points and 5 rebounds for Canada, who will meet China tomorrow at 9:45 ET and with a victory will vie for 9th place in the tournament on Friday against the winner of the Lithuania/Korea matchup. In the end, Canada's rough start and subsequent poor performance against Turkey in the second game of the tournament which led to a 22 point loss came back to haunt the group which appeared to be peaking at the right time. Hopefully Canada can refocus and come home with 9th place and a 5-3 overall record in the tournament.


Anonymous said...

9th place seems like a pretty small prize for a 5-3 record, but that unfortunately are the cards we have been dealt.
Still, it is encouraging to see Canada win a game against a quality opponent like Argentina, even though it went for naught.
In retrospect, it's too bad Aaron Chapman got hurt in training camp, as it seemed he was a lock to make the squad.
He's 6'8" and another good big guy
certainly could have helped us, especially against the Spaniards and Aussies.
All things considered, not great but not too bad.

Anonymous said...

what happened to Zach Nagtzaam. He hasn't played in the last four games. Is this a coach's decision or injury. Just wondering. Thanks if you have any input--an Ohio University fan (were Zach will play this year)

sager said...

Yeah, it's strange how it worked out for our guys. By the sounds of it, there's nothing to hang their heads over, other than maybe the Turkey game.

Great work covering the whole tournament, Mark. You've introduced us to a whole new crew of Canadian basketball talent -- Devoe and Cory Joseph, Kai Williams, Scott Brittain. I'll be checking the Internets next season to see how they're doing with their college and high school teams, for sure.