Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Canada Basketball Media Release after loss to Argentina


(San Juan, Puerto Rico) Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team struggled offensively as Argentina defeated the red and white 67-51 in the opening match today of the quarter final round at the FIBA Americas Championship.

“Argentina showed that they are one of the top teams and certainly turned things around from a week ago,’ said Leo Rautins, Head Coach for the Senior Men’s National Team. “They played outstanding basketball and are a very smart team.”

Canada however was plagued with turnovers, collecting 23 in the match, while allowing the Argentines to gain 16 steals. Team Canada shot a disappointing 12 per cent on two for 16 from the perimeter compared to 44 per cent for Argentina. Canada battled to gain control on offence, as the Argentine’s led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter.

“Obviously you can’t win a game the way we played today,” added Rautins. “You can’t have 23 turnovers and not execute. We basically beat ourselves and you can’t play basketball that way. We have to find a way to get out of this or it’s not going to be a very fun remaining time here in Puerto Rico.”

Carl English (Patrick’s Cove, NF) was Canada’s top scorer and rebounder with 17 points and six boards. Team Captain Jesse Young (Peterborough, Ont.) followed with 13 points and four rebounds.

Despite his top scoring status, English was disappointed in his own performance.

“The teams are playing very well so we have to come out a change the way we start more like Mexico. I think I personally have to do a better job in getting my teammates involved and not turn over the ball as much.”

Argentina’s Luis Scola had a great game and a good supporting cast that wreaked havoc on Canada’s defence. Leo Gutierrez scored a game-high 15 points, including five for seven from the three point line. Federico Kammerichs added 13 and seven rebounds, while Scola netted 12 points and nine boards.

Argentina started the game with two straight three pointers, one by Kammerichs and another by Paolo Quinteros with 7:42 left. English responded with a three of his own followed by two baskets to make it 7-9 with just under four minutes left in the first quarter. The period ended with Argentina up by two points, 15-13.

In the second quarter Canada came back and tied it at 24 after a basket by Tyler Kepkay (Vancouver, BC), who completed a 7-0 run midway through the period. But Argentina’s Gutierrez hit two straight three pointers to give his team a 30-24 lead. Young and English each hit baskets to bring Canada to 28, but Argentina managed to expand the lead to eight at the half (36-28).

Canada had no answer for Gutierrez who drained three perimeter shots in the third quarter alone. Scola also make his mark scoring six points in two minutes, midway through the period. Missed baskets and turnovers resulted in Canada gaining only 10 points at the end of three, while Argentina netted 20.

The Canadians strived to get back in the game, and while the team outscored Argentina in the fourth quarter 13-11, the deficit was just too great. With this win Argentina stands at 3-1, while Canada drops to 1-3.

Up next for Canada is a match against an undefeated Brazilian team (3-0) tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. (Live and 10 p.m. on The Score / 4 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. RNBA TV).

When asked about the tomorrow’s game, English stated, “As a team we just have to get hungry and believe. I think our confidence is low and we just have to get out there and run.”

The FIBA Americas Championship quarter-finals run until Friday, with the top four teams at the tournament advancing to the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

“Its mathematics now,” commented Rautins on Canada’s chances to qualify for the Worlds. “If you don’t win you don’t go.”

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