Thursday, 23 August 2007

Dalembert, Anderson Lead Canada to Late Victory

There was a tremendous amount of publicity and excitement when 6'10" Samuel Dalembert finally gained his Canadian citizenship in early August, allowing him to participate in the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying event for Canada. Fans got a taste of what the fuss was all about earlier tonight as Dalembert, along with 6'2" Jermaine Anderson, invigorated a listless Canadian side with clutch performances down the stretch, enabling Canada to defeat a scrappy Venezuela side 80-73 to move to 1-1 in Group B of the preliminary round in advance of tomorrow's affair with U.S. Virgin Islands. Dalembert was a force at both ends, especially in the last 2:25 of the game when, with his team down by 2, he had an emphatic block and then followed up with a power move inside to tie the score. On the next possession, Dalembert forced his way inside and the resulting "and 1" gave Canada the lead for good at 73-71. Dalembert then used his length to save a ball from going out-of-bounds and the rock ended up in the hands of the "Rock" (Anderson) who then clinched the game at the foul line. Earlier, Anderson, who scored all of his 17 points after the intermission including 3 consecutive 3's midway through the second half, made the Venezualians pay for going underneath a ball screen, canning a clutch 17 footer that gave Canada a 76-73 lead with 40 seconds remaining. Although Canada struggled to find any consistency, the group did what they had to do, getting another great performance down the stretch from Anderson, his third such effort in the past week, and what we were all waiting for from Dalembert. Canada had leads in the 5 to 7 point range throughout the second half as Anderson awoke by hitting a pair of open 3's late in the third quarter and then nailing another from downtown early in the fourth and Canada looked to be on their way. However, Venezuela didn't quit and a 7-0 gave the underdogs a 67-65 lead with 6:10 remaining. However, Canada clamped down defensively, led by Dalembert, who cleaned up any dribble penetrations with either a block or by forcing a kickout and Canada gave up only 6 points in the last 6 minutes of the game. Dalembert finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds to lead Canada while Anderson went 3-5 from 3 as part of his 17 point effort while 6'5" Carl English added 14 including a big 3 on the next possession immediately after Venezuela had taken their first lead of the game with just over 6 minutes remaining. Canada vs. Venezuela Box Score

1 comment:

sager said...

Wish I'd gotten to know Anderson and his game earlier... I think Canada was up 5 with about 2 minutes to go in the third when he split the defenders and had a tough layup just bounce off the rim.

That was a 5-point swing since Venezuela got a putback 3-point play (and a foul on Dalembert that forced him to sit down). Anderson only played better after that miss, though. Fun game to watch even though Canada did struggle.