Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Canada Loses Opener to Puerto Rico at Pan-Am Games

5'11" Jose Juan Barea, who played in 33 games with the NBA's Dallas Mavericks this past season, led all scorers with 21 points while 6'6" Joel Jones (Sacremento State) had 13 and 6'11" Ricky Sanchez (2nd round NBA draft pick in '06) added 11 as Puerto Rico rode to a comfortable 82-63 victory over Canada as the men's basketball preliminary round began this afternoon at the Pan-Am Games in Brazil. Barea was on fire in the first half, scoring 15 points on 4-5 shooting including a perfect 7 for 7 at the free throw line as the Puerto Ricans built up a 42-30 lead at the break. The Puerto Ricans extended their leads to as high as 22 on multiple occasions, having their way in the paint with Canada according to stats. Andy Rautins led Canada with 13 points including 2-11 from 3 point land while Jermaine Anderson added 12 including 9 in the first half. Anderson's 3 with 7:45 remaining in the second quarter got Canada back to within 4 at 22-18 but Barea hit a jumper and Sanchez followed with a 3 to give Puerto Rico a 9 point lead which they rode into halftime. Puerto Rico steadily increased their leads in the second half, leading by 16 at 55-39 with 3:18 remaining in the third after a fast break lay-in by Jones and led 80-58 late. Canada's CIS contingent of Aaron Doornekamp, Osvaldo Jeanty and Ryan Bell saw limited action as Doornekamp hit a late 3 for his only points in 16 minutes, while Jeanty did not score in 7 minutes and Bell had 2 points in 8 minutes. Former Carleton Raven Paul Larmand finished with 5 points including an 0-7 effort from 3 point land. Overall, Canada shot just 32% from the floor including 8-32 (25%) from 3 while Puerto Rico went 45% from the floor and outrebounded the Canadians 49-33. Canada's next action is tomorrow against the host Brazilians, who will play U.S. Virgin Islands in their first game of the tournament later today.

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