Saturday, 18 August 2007

Canada Takes Bronze at FISU Games

Canada used a 17-0 run bridging the 3rd and 4th quarters to come all the way back from an early 20 point deficit and claim the Bronze medal at the FISU Games men's basketball tournament with a 90-84 victory over Japan. 6'1" Tristan Blackwood got it going from downtown, finishing with a team-high 18 points including 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Canada also dominated on the offensive glass led by 6'9" Theo Davis (15 points/13 rebounds including 5 "o" boards off the bench) and 6'11" Scott Morrison (13 points/10 rebounds including 5 "o" boards off the bench), with 18 offensive boards total. Another post player, 6'10" Neil MacDonald went a tidy 7-12 from the floor, finishing with 14 points before fouling out. Canada's 3 bigs finished with 52 points, 27 rebounds on 19-37 shooting. A fifth Canadian player, 6'4" Josh Gibson-Bascombe, who missed parts of the quarter-final and semi-finals with a twisted ankle, came off the bench to score 12, getting himself to the rim and to the line consistently, going 7 of 10 from the free throw line. Canada started very slowly, trailing by 16 after the first quarter and by 20 midway through the second but finished the half on a 16-6 run. During the key stretch which gave Canada a 73-64 lead, Blackwood was able to get free, Gibson-Bascombe got to the rim and the big guys dominated inside. 6'3" Shohei Kikuchi had 28 points and 5 boards for Japan while 6'2" Takumi Kshizaki added 19 points/10 rebounds and 6'9" Kosuke Takeuchi, who played on Japan's squad which hosted the World Championships last summer, added 19 points/4 rebounds. In all, Canada finished the game on a dominating 54-25 run, enabling the Canadian to bring home the first men's basketball medal at a major competition in 10 years (Student team won the Silver at the 1997 World University Games in Italy as they were know then). Lithuania, which defeated Canada in the semi-finals, used a 43-24 second half surge to defeat Serbia in the Gold medal game played after Canada's win over Japan.

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