U19 MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM WINS A HARD FOUGHT BATTLE VS AUSTRALIA AT THE FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, 66-58
Toronto, ON - Team Canada's U19 Men's National Team took on Australia this morning in Heraklio Greece for their first match-up of the reclassification round in the 2015 FIBA World Championship. Today's tilt comes on the heels of Canada's loss to Croatia which saw Canada removed from medal contention. Today's game was eerily reminiscent of the first match-up between these two clubs on June 27 2015. It was a gritty, fast-paced back and forth battle that saw each squad trade scoring runs. It was a close battle until late in the third when Canada managed to create a sizable gap, one that ultimately was too difficult for the Australians to overcome. Canada came away with the 66-58 win, improving to 5-1 in World Championship action.
The first quarter started off as a chaotic display which saw Canada stumble out of the gates and Australia jump to a quick 6-0 lead. It took until the 4:38 mark of the first frame for Canada to knot the score at 7 apiece. The Aussies kept the pressure on however, and motored their way to a 5-point lead, 17-12 over the Canadians at the end of quarter one.
The second quarter started out much the same, as the Aussies went on a 5-0 run coming out of the break. Jalen Poyser's (Malton, ON) tough And-1 layup at the 7:53 mark gave Canada their first bucket of the frame and started to initiate momentum back on Canada's side. Canada displayed the gritty toughness to which we have become accustomed and claimed the quarter, outscoring Australia 18-14 in the frame, trailing the Aussies 31-30 heading into halftime. Heading into half Canada was shooting 34.3% (12-35 FG) compared to Australia's 38.9% (14-36 FG). Canada continued to shoot the ball well from the perimeter, connecting on 42.9% of their attempts (3-7 3FG) compared to just 16.7% (2-12 3FG) for the Aussies.
In the third quarter both teams continued to battle back-and-forth until the 4:05 mark of the frame where Canada finally found some consistent rhythm on both ends on the floor. Canada closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run. Leading the charge for the red and white was Mississauga, ON native Dillon Brooks, whose energy and passion ignited the team, seeing them take a 9-point lead, 50-41 into the fourth.
The final frame was a fairly balanced effort for both squads however Canada was able to hold off every Australian push in the final minutes and came away with the 66-58 victory. Canada finished the game shooting 38.5% (25-65 FG), improving on their halftime numbers while the Aussies shooting dipped, closing out the game shooting 34.4% (22-64 FG). The 3-ball continued to drop for Canada through this contest, finishing the game shooting 50% (6-12 3FG) from deep compared to the Aussies 22.2% (6-27 3FG).
Canada was led by the dynamic duo of Dillon Brooks (Mississauga, ON) and Justin Jackson (Scarborough, ON) who both registered double-doubles. Dillon Brooks dropped in 19 points & grabbed 11 rebounds, while Justin Jackson added 13 points & 10 rebounds of his own.
Head Coach Roy Rana recognized the significance of such a great bounce-back victory on the international stage in his post-game comments:
''This was a very good win today for our country. The team showed how resilient they are by bouncing back from yesterday's disappointment. We can now focus on tomorrow's opportunity to finish the tournament with a win and make Canada proud''.
For a full boxscore, click here.
Canada's next challenge comes tomorrow, Sunday July 5th 2015 at 9:00am EST where they are set to face the winner of Italy vs Spain for 5th place. Stay tuned to @CanBball on twitter for live stream and live statistics links.
For full team roster and coaching staff, click here.
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