CANADA DEFEATS BRAZIL TO IMPROVE TO 6-1 IN FIBA BASKETBALL WORLD CUP 2019 AMERICAS QUALIFIERS
LAVAL, QC (September 13, 2018) - Canada's Senior Men's National Team earned a 85-77 victory over Brazil in a first-place showdown on Thursday night as the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Americas Qualifiers continued.
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Kelly Olynyk led the way for the red and white in the victory, putting up an enormous 20 points to go along with 19 rebounds. Tristan Thompson also had success against Brazil in the paint, scoring 10 points and securing 12 rebounds on the night. Brazil was led by Leandro Barbosa who put up a team-high 18 points.
Canada found themselves with the early lead against Brazil in the opening half, as Olynyk led the way with a double-double, putting up 12 points to go along with 10 rebounds. However, it was Canada's shooting from beyond the arc that gave them the lead heading into the second half, knocking down seven first-half threes as they went into the third frame with a 41-33 lead.
Olynyk continued to find success against the Brazilian defence, scoring from both inside and out to spread the floor for Canada. The rebounding differential continued to grow in the third, as Canada crashed the boards with tenacity and controlled the paint on the defensive end, led by Thompson. Brazil made one final scoring run late in the fourth quarter, but staunch defence from Canada held off the comeback attempt. Canada continued their dominance on the boards into the final buzzer, spearheaded by Thompson and Olynyk as Canada went on to earn the 85-77 victory.
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"Obviously, in games like these, we're going up against some of the best competition in the world. Every game in the Qualifiers is a test. We didn't start the way we wanted to, but we had a lot of guys contribute for us tonight and it was enough to push us over the edge. I think we had six guys put up double-digits tonight, so obviously when you have a collective effort like that, it gives us a big advantage." - Kelly Olynyk
"It was a great opportunity for us to host the game on home soil, so I'm glad we could win in front of the home fans. We have a lot of guys on this team that can do a lot of different things, so I felt like we had a really complete roster out there tonight. Cory [Joseph] and Kevin [Pangos] got everyone involved offensively, Tristan [Thompson] and Kelly [Olynyk] were obviously huge for us inside, and Melvin [Ejim] did it all for us again like he usually does. It was a good team effort. We still have work to do, but we're happy about the result." - Head Coach Roy Rana
Following Thursday’s game, Canada will travel to Valdivia to face Chile on Monday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. EDT to conclude the fourth window. Catch all the action streaming live in Canada on DAZN.