Sunday, 6 September 2009

Canada hammered in Bronze Medal game; Rautins to bring more NBA players

Any thought of Canada returning home with a medal from the 2009 FIBA Americas championship tournament went out the window very early in today's Bronze medal game after a lopsided loss to Argentina in which the score (86-73) was not indicative of the play, especially in the first half. After 6'9" Joel Anthony dunked to bring Canada back to within 4 at 10-6 with 3 1/2 minutes gone in the first, Argentina finished the quarter on an incredible 21-2 run to lead by 23 going into the second quarter. And that, as they say, was that, although Canada did outscore the Argentinians 55-39 in the second half to make it look closer than it really was. Canada missed their first 10 3's in the game.

Canada's "go to" scorer and creator, 6'5" Carl English, did not see action today with 6'5" Andy Rautins starting in his place. As was the case in the semi-final game yesterday, Coach Leo Rautins used everyone else on his bench including twelfth man 6'4" ex-Carleton Raven Ryan Bell. Canada trailed 49-18 at the half.

Canada returns home with a 4-6 record overall at the tournament with victories over U.S. Virgin Islands, Mexico, Panama and Dominican Republic. The six losses were to Uruguay, the host Puerto Ricans and twice each to Brazil and Argentina. As most know by now, Canada has qualified for the 2010 Worlds in Turkey.

Somewhat surprisingly, Rautins was earlier quoted by Alfredo R. Berrios after Canada qualified that he'll add three NBA players to the roster.

"We're going to be making some changes," said Rautins after the victory over the Dominican Republic. "Maybe (Steve) Nash, Matt Bonner, Jamaal Magloire. We're very excited."

Rautins was quick to give credit to the players who helped Canada clinch the final berth.

"I'm very proud of those guys. We had 12 players here. There weren't any stars," Rautins said. "They never gave up."

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