Thursday, 3 September 2009

Canada 97, Panama 65

One of the more consistent aspects of Canada's overall game throughout the tournament has been their ability to stop teams in the quarter court. In yesterday's loss to Brazil, it took a superlative offensive effort from a proven NBA scorer in Leandro Barbosa to thrwart Canada's bid to knock the Brazilians from the ranks of the undefeated - however even then the game was played in the 60's. In today's must-win match against Panama, the Canadian "d" shone once again and 6'5" Carl English had his best overall offensive game of the tournament to lift the Canadians to an easy 97-65 victory in a match that started 1/2 hour earlier than originally planned due to some expected inclement weather approaching the island of Puerto Rico.

Today Canada completely locked up the Panamanian offense, holding star Dannilo Pinnock and friends to only 24 first half point as Canada exploded to a 21 point halftime lead and then the route was on early in the third as the boys had some fun in the open court, throwing and finishing several acrobatic loops to 6'5" Olu Famutimi. Canada finished the game with all subs on the floor including the first action of the tournament for 6'4" Ryan Bell, who appears healthy again after battling a quad problem for the first part of the tourney.

Canada found the going much easier offensively, with numerous open looks in transition and easy layups for the bigs especially 6'9" Joel Anthony who continually beat his checks down the floor against a Panama team that was done mentally and physically early in this contest.

Canada now has their fate in their own hands going into their final game of this round against the Dominican Republic (currently playing Mexico). With Uruguay meeting Brazil later today, Canada, with a victory over Dominican (assuming Brazil defeats Uruguay later today), will claim the fourth and final qualifying spot. If Uruguay were to upset Brazil (as long as DR defeats Mexico), there would be a three way tie if Canada wins tomorrow (as long as Uruguay loses to Argy). Regardless, if Canada wins by more than 5 tomorrow, they should be in good shape.

STANDINGS (with games remaining in brackets for teams still in contention):
1. Puerto Rico 5/0
2. Brazil 5/0
3. Argentina 4/1
4. Dominican Republic 2/3 (Mexico, Canada)
5. Uruguay 2/3 (Brazil, Argentina)
6. Canada 2/4 (Dominican Republic)
7. Panama 1/5 (Canada)
8. Mexico 0/5

No comments: