Monday, 13 August 2007

Canada Thrashes Israel; to face Germany in FISU Quarter-Finals

Canada's Student team finished the first half on a 37-22 run and then blew open the game in the second half with a superior effort defensively and on the glass, defeating Israel 83-54 to advance to the quarter-finals of the FISU Men's basketball tournament in Bangkok, Thailand. Canada (3-1), winners of Group I now faces Germany (3-1), which finished second in their group on Wednesday morning at 1 AM Eastern time (Noon local in Thailand). Canada recovered from a sub-par performance after suffering their only loss of the tournament on Sunday with a "total team effort" as Head Coach Chris O'Rourke explained. "Josh (Gibson-Bascombe) off the bench was probably our player of the game but our entire bench was huge with everyone scoring except Max Gosselin and he had 5 assists". Talking to the great defensive effort shown by his troops, O'Rourke noted "We packed in our zone and made a slashing team shoot jumpers which they did not do particularly well today". Indeed Isreal shot only 33% as a team including a paltry 3 for 23 from 3 point land. 6'5" Jevohn Shepherd rebounded from a sub-par game against Korea, going 7-10 from the floor en route to a game-high 19 points while Gibson-Bascombe had 13 points on 6-8 shooting from the floor, adding 4 assists and 3 rebounds against only 1 turnover. 6'9" Theo Davis had another consistent effort with 10 points and 6 rebounds while 6'7" Willie Galick had maybe his best effort of the tournament with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Canada dominated the glass, outrebounding Israel 41-24 including 7 rebounds apiece for 6'10" Scott Morrison and 6'7" J.P. Morin who had missed the Korea game with an injury. Canada, which outscored Israel 46-24 in the second half, shot 56% themselves for the game including a very efficient 6-11 from beyond the arc and the shots were spread around very well across the roster. The championship quarter-final pairings are set for Wednesday as follows:

CANADA vs. Germany
Japan vs. Korea
Lithuania vs. Russia
Serbia vs. U.S.A.

The Germans suffered their first loss of the tournament today against Japan and have maybe the biggest lineup in the tournament, with four guys over 6'8" in the rotation including 6'9" Yassin Idbihi, who averages a team high 14.3 ppg for the tournament. We should have more on the Germans as part of a preview tomorrow.

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