Thursday, 19 August 2010

Slovenia 86, Canada 71 on Day 3 of Acropolis Tournament

Slovenia scored the final 6 points of the first half to take a double digit lead into halftime and then went on an 8-0 run late in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 19 in dropping Canada (1-2) on the third and final day of play at the Acropolis Tournament in Athens, one of two European tournaments the Canadians are participating in as a tune-up for the FIBA World Championships in Turkey which begin in about one week.

Slovenia's 6'1" guard Jaka Lakovic went 5-6 from downtown (including a perfect 3-3 in the first half) to lead all scorers with 19 points while smooth-shooting 6'10" NBA veteran Bostjan Nachbar, now with Efes Pilsen in Turkey, added 11 points.  6'10" Uros Slokar, originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors, had a big first half, scoring all of his 10 points before playing sparingly in the second half.  Slovenia also features 6'4" point guard Goran Dragic (4 points, 24 minutes) who had a breakthrough season, especially in the playoffs as Steve Nash's backup with the Phoenix Suns,  and 7'1" Primoz Brezec (6 points, 12 minutes) another ex-Raptor and NBA veteran who most recently played with Milwaukee.

Slovenia extended a late 5 point lead to 11 by halftime at 43-32 as Slokar knocked down both his 3's and Lakovic had his three threes in the first half, part of a 6-10 Slovenia effort from beyond the arc in the opening frame.  Slovenia finished 11-20 from downtown overall.

6'5" Jevohn Shepherd had 13 points for Canada including several late in the game when Slovenia had their bench in the game while 6'10" Joel Anthony added 11 points, all early when it was still a game.  Canada shot just 15-51 from two point land including a 1-11 effort from inside the arc from 6'5" Denham Brown.  Canada will finish fourth in this tournament.

Canada was again hampered by the unavailability of 6'5" Andy Rautins, who did not play at all in this tournament, and 6'5" Olu Famutimi, who played just 7 minutes against Greece, did not play yesterday and had only 14 minutes today.  This leaves the Canadian lineup as 6'1" Jermaine Anderson at the point (backed up by 5'11" Tyler Kepkay and 6'4" Ryan Bell), wings Famutimi, 6'5" Jermaine Bucknor, 6'5" Denham Brown, 6'5" Jevohn Shepherd, 6'7" swingmen Aaron Doornekamp and 6'10" Kelly Olynyk and bigs 6'11" Joel Anthony, 6'10" Levon Kendall and 7'0" Robert Sacre.

Canada now travels to Turkey to participate in the Efes Pilsen tournament, the final tune-up for the FIBA World Championships also in Turkey.  At Efes Pilsen event, which begins on Saturday, Canada faces (in order) #1 Argentina, #18 Turkey and #24 Lebanon.  Lebanon features ex-Ottawa Gee-Gees guard Ali Mahmoud, a regular in the Lebanese rotation.

Box Score

Current Tournament Standings:
Greece 2-0
Serbia 1-1 (-3 in games vs. Canada and Slovenia)
Slovenia 1-2 (+14 in games vs. Canada and Serbia)
Canada 1-2 (-11 in games vs. Serbia and Slovenia)

Canada Basketball Media Release


August 19, 2010

(Athens, Greece) Canada's Senior Men concluded their trip to Greece with a 71-86 loss to Slovenia in their final game of the Arcopolis-Eurobank Tournament. Toronto native Jevohn Shepherd led the Canadians in scoring with 13 points. Montreal native Joel Anthony added 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

The Canadian Senior Men's National team (SMNT) will now travel to Turkey for the Efes Pilsen Cup Tournament from August 21-23 in Ankara, Turkey. Team Canada will face off against Argentina, Turkey and Lebanon for their final preparation for the FIBA World Championship.

Canada's opening match against Argentina tips off Saturday, August 21 at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) and game summaries will be posted on

Game Details: – game report link

Head Coach Leo Rautins Quotes:

"Tonight was a great example of how you need come focused every night with the right energy level and trust each other on the court," said Leo Rautins, Head Coach of SMNT.

"We need to refocus now and use this experience in Greece to help us as we head into the Efes Pilsen Cup and face strong competition in Argentina, Turkey and Lebanon," added Rautins. "Our goal is to use these games to prepare our team to peak as the World Championships begin on August 28th.

Top Scorer Jevohn Shepherd Quote:

"Tonight we didn't play a full 40 minutes and didn't match their aggression which cost us in the end," said Shepherd. "Now we have a few practices and three games left to make the adjustments before heading into the World Championship."

2010 Efes Pilsen Cup Tournament Details

2010 FIBA World Championship Details

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