Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Argentina 67, Canada 51

In a game that likely sealed Canada's fate in terms of qualifying for 2010 World Championships in Turkey, Argentina made 10 3's and led by as many as 20 in defeating the Canadians 67-51, dropping Canada to 1-3 in quarter-final round. There was some optimism prior to the game after Dominican Republic edged Uruguay, given that Uruguay was a team that had defeated Canada but by halftime, when Canada trailed by 8 and certainly in the third quarter, a quarter which Argentina outscored Canada 20-10, that optimism faded and the result became obvious.

Canada now needs to sweep their remaining three games in this phase of the tournament, beginning tomorrow with undefeated Brazil, the class of tournament thus far. Even then, the Canadians would likely have to rely on a tiebreaker scenario to have any chance of finishing in the Top 4 and the automatic qualifying spots that go with it.

Canada never led in the game that saw them turn the ball over 23 times and shoot only 2-16 (13%) from downtown. Carl English led Canada with 17 points in 31 minutes wile Leonardo Gutierrez led a balanced Argentine attack with 15.

Argentina scored the first six points of the game but then English singlehandidly brought Canada back with a couple of 3's and his best creating off the dribble in the tournament thus far. Canada kept it close and then evened the score at 24 with about 5 minutes remaining in the second quarter. English then turned the ball over which started an 8-0 Argentina run that gave them the lead they would not reliquish. English did his best to help Canada finish the half strong but the teams basically traded baskets to enter halftime with Argy up 36-28.

Argentina then outscored Canada 20-10 in the third quarter to take control as 6'10" Luis Scola, who had a quiet first half, began asserting himself inside with 6 straight points and Argentina began knocking down shots. Canada then went zone and when, after a poor decision by Jermaine Anderson leaving him alone with the ball, Gutierrez dropped in his second consecutive long 3 from the right wing with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the quarter and Argy had a 17 point lead, forcing Canada into a timeout and all but deciding the game for good. Turnovers hurt Canada with at least 4 in the first half of the third quarter, all leading to subsequent Argentine scores.

Canada's zone was inconsistent throughout the tournament characterized by indecision and several missed slides or mistakes leaving the ball alone and today Argy made them pay during key points of the game-deciding third quarter.

The game is being shown on a tape delay basis currently on the SCORE and then again at 7 PM ET on Raptor TV.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could you please tell me what is Dave Smart's status with the national team?
He was Rautins #1 assistant until now....is he on leave of absence or has he parted ways with the national program?