Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Canada Still Alive!; Do or die against Argentina tomorrow

By virtue of Australia's one point victory over Argentina, Canada (2-3) retains hope of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the FIBA U19 World Championships in Serbia but must defeat Argentina (3-2) tomorrow to advance. Australia held on after leading by double digits almost from the opening tip off, leading by as many as 18 and holding a 75-64 lead with only 2:28 remaining before Argentina hit a series of long 3's to make the score look more respectable. Turkey upset Spain 59-56, handing the Spaniards their first loss and clinching a quarter-final berth for Turkey.

The Argentines have a very balanced lineup that usually goes 10 deep but is without one true superstar as most of the top teams in Serbia seem to have. As well, Argentina's biggest rotation players are only 6'7" so Canada could matchup well with Argentina. Argentina leads the tournament in personal fouls committed, averaging about 28 team fouls per game. 5 players average between 9 and 13 ppg led by 6'0" shooting guard Nicolas De Los Santos, who had only 9 today against the Aussies, 6'2" guard Nicholas Aguirre (12.8 ppg/16 today), 5'11" PG Diego Gerbaudo (9 ppg), 6'7" Sebastien Vega (9 ppg) and 6'7" small forward Facundo Pinero (10 ppg going 11-23 from three point land before today's game).

Argentina's results thus far:
Argentina 91, Korea 85 (Canada defeated Korea by 16)
Spain 88, Argentina 68 (Spain defeated Canada by 14, 83-69)
Argentina 112, Puerto Rico 72 (Canada did not play Puerto Rico but defeated them last season in the qualifying tournament)
Argentina 68, Turkey 59 (Turkey defeated Canada 81-58)
Australia 79, Argentina 78 (Australia defeated Canada 81-70).

Canada vs. Argentina gets started tomorrow at 2:30 PM Eastern time

CANADA UPDATE: The coaching staff inserted 6'6" Kai Williams (Regina, SK) into the starting lineup for the past 2 games and Williams has flourished scoring 48 points and grabbing 17 rebounds including several big baskets down the stretch vs. Korea. 6'2" Devoe Joseph remains among the leading scorers at the tournament with 21.8 ppg, currently sitting second behind Australia's Andrew Ogilvy. 6'7" Boris Bakovic (Ryerson University), the OUA Rookie-of-the-Year this past season, has started all 5 games for Canada and has averaged 9.4 ppg and 6.8 rpg in 25 mpg.

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