Monday, 23 July 2007

Pan-Am Men's Basketball Begins on Wednesday

The eight-team Pan-Am Games men's basketball tournament begins this coming Wednesday, July 25th in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and Canada has games on 3 straight days as part of Group B beginning at 12:15 eastern time on Wednesday against Puerto Rico. Canada finished 7th in the previous Pan-Am games in 2003 and our best finish was in 1983 in Caracus, Venezuela when Canada finished 4th which, incidentially, was the last time the USA captured gold. For historians, that year, the USA, led by future NBA stars 6'6" Michael Jordan, 5'11" Mark Price, 6'9" Wayman Tisdale and 6'9" Sam Perkins, defeated Canada by 14, 111-97 in the championship round en route to the gold medal.

Joining Canada and Puerto Rico in Group B are the host Brazilians and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The top 2 teams from Group B will qualify for Saturday's semi-finals and the gold and bronze medal games go Sunday. So Canada has the possibility of playing 5 games in 5 days with Wednesday's opener against Puerto Rico being a virtual "must-win" given that Brazil, the two-time defending Pan-Am games gold medalist come next in front what should be a partisan crowd in Rio. A win over Puerto Rico and then another victory over US Virgin Islands should put Canada into the semi-final round.

Canada was supposed to scrimmage the USA in Brazil in preparation for the tournament however the scrimmage was apparently cancelled.

Pan-Am Games Men's Basketball Summary 25th-29th July, 2007
Group A: USA, Argentina, Panama, Uruguay
Group B: Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
25th July (Wed.) Canada vs. Puerto Rico 12:15 PM Eastern
26th July (Thurs) Canada vs. Brazil 2:30 PM Eastern
27th July (Fri.) Canada vs. US Virgin Islands 11:45 PM Eastern
28th July (Sat.) Semi-Finals 9:15 am & 4:00 PM Eastern
29th July (Sun.) Gold (10 AM Eastern), Bronze (7:45 AM Eastern) Medal Games

No word on whether or not Canada's games will be available live on television or via webcast. However the following link to the Games schedule may provide opportunity to follow the games play-by-play in a LIVE STATS! format. Click on the following link which takes you to a schedule grid. On the grid, click on "BASKETBALL/25 July" square which takes you to that day's basketball schedule, then click on "REPORTS" Pan-Am Games Schedule link

Jermaine Anderson Guard 6'2" Polpak (Poland) Toronto, ON 1983
Ryan Bell Guard 6'5" Carleton University (CIS) Orleans, ON 1984
Rans Brempong Forward 6'8" Matrixx Magixx (Holland) Brampton, ON 1981
Jermaine Bucknor Forward 6'7" Polpak (Poland) Edmonton, AB 1983
Sean Denison Forward 6'10" Santa Clara University (NCAA) Nelson, BC 1985
Aaron Doornekamp Forward 6'7" Carleton University (CIS) Odessa, ON 1985
Osvaldo Jeanty Guard 6'0 Carleton University (CIS) Gloucester, ON 1983
Vladimir Kuljanin Centre 6'10" UNC Wilmington (NCAA) Toronto, ON 1985
Paul Larmand Guard 6'6" Quebec City Kebekwa (ABA) Victoria Harbour, ON 1984
Andy Rautins Guard 6'5" Syracuse University (NCAA) Syracuse, NY 1986
Sheray Thomas Forward 6'8" University of Kentucky (NCAA) Montreal, QC 1984
Jesse Young Forward 6'10" Joventut (Spain) Peterborough, ON 1980

Team Staff
Leo Rautins Head Coach
Dave Smart Assistant Coach Carleton University (CIS)
Wayne Yearwood Assistant Coach Dawson College (CCAA)

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