SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Sept. 3 /CNW/ - Canada's quest to qualify for the
2010 FIBA World Championship continues after today's commanding win over
Panama 97-65 in the Quarterfinal round of the FIBA Americas Championship. "I
felt that we gained a lot of confidence yesterday against Brazil and we just
brought that intensity that we needed to play at each end of the floor," said
Leo Rautins, Head Coach for the Senior Men's National Team. "The nice thing
about today's game is that everybody played, everybody contributed so our legs
are fresh and hopefully we are in a good position tomorrow."
Andy Rautins (Syracuse, NY) led all players with 23 points, including 5-7
from three point range. Carl English (Patrick's Cove, NL) followed for Canada
with 16 points in 21 minutes. Team captain Jesse Young (Peterborough, Ont.)
added 14 points including a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. Olu Famutimi
(Toronto, Ont.) contributed 10. Joel Anthony was the team's top rebounder,
collecting five boards in the game.
The Canadians controlled the game in all areas particularly shooting,
where Canada was virtually perfect from the free throw line, making 23-24
baskets. Panama hit 15-19 from the charity stripe. But it was Canada's
three-point shooting that expanded the gap, as the red and white shot 44
percent versus 23 per cent for Panama. Team Canada played an aggressive game
on both ends of the floor, gathering 14 steals as Panama struggled with 20
The Panamanians jumped to an early lead but Canada made a 12-2 run in the
final minutes, including 10 points by English to close the first quarter up
In the second quarter Canada continued sharp from long distance led by
English and Jermaine Bucknor (Edmonton, Alta.) who added eight points to give
Canada a substantial 19 point lead at the half (45-24). The Canadians
continued the third period with its intense team ball strategy that worked so
well in the first half as the red and white powered by Panama. Team Canada
dominated in all aspects in the second half, especially in the paint where
Young demonstrated why he is called "a warrior" by his coach.
Leading by as many as 33 points, Canada ran away with the win and
regained some control of its destiny. With this win the team now has a record
of 2-4. The last game of the Quarterfinals takes place on Friday at 6:30 p.m.
ET against the Dominican Republic (3-3). Tomorrow's game will be replayed on
The Score and Raptors NBA TV 10 p.m. ET. Fans can also see the game live on
the internet at www.fibatv.com.
Canada's chances for a World Championship berth are still alive, but do
not rest solely on the team's performance tomorrow. They will need some help
from Uruguay, a team that has two games remaining. If Uruguaywins both matches
against Brazil today and Argentina tomorrow, then the Canadians are out of the
tournament. If Uruguay loses both games, then Canada advances to both the
semifinals and the World Championships. However, if they split the games, Team
Canada will have to beat the Dominican Republic by five points in order to
Rautins knows the pressure that rests with the upcoming Dominican game
and what his team must focus on to prepare tomorrow.
"Dominican Republic is certainly one of the most talented teams in this
tournament. The have size, quickness, and players that can shoot. Like every
game here, it's going to be a very difficult match, and we'll have to be very
focused and play with confidence."
For complete boxscores, standings and schedule visit the official
tournament website for the FIBA Americas Championship.
Click here to download: The 2009 Senior Men's National Team Media Guide
Canada Basketball (www.basketball.ca) is a private, not-for-profit
corporation that is committed to the growth of the sport in Canada. Just as
important, Canada Basketball is focused on the development and preparation of
Canada's national teams for the Olympic; Pan American and FISU Games as well
as the World Championships. The aspiration of Canada Basketball is to instill
the pride, commitment, passion and respect that Canadians personify into the
development of basketball across the country and internationally.
For further information:
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Website: www.basketball.ca; Tanya Phillipps, Manager, Marketing &
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