San Juan, Puerto Rico – The Senior Men’s National Team could not overcome an impressive shooting display from Argentina as Team Canada fell 83-74 at the 2013 Tuto Marchand Continental Cup basketball tournament on Friday (Aug. 23).
The game began with both sides trading chances, but Team Argentina picked-up the pace in the latter half of the period to take a 21-13 lead after the first quarter. Canada responded in the second with good work on both sides of the court. The Canadians were steady in their own end in allowing eight points, while managing 20 to build a 33-29 halftime advantage. Mississauga, Ont. native Andrew Nicholson capped off his team’s impressive quarter with a three-pointer seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded.
Team Canada began the third still propelled by its second quarter momentum and led by as many as 12 points. Near the midway mark of the period, Argentina suddenly regained its scoring touch; the Argentineans came alive and posted 17 points, en route to 31 in the quarter, as the SMNT fell behind 60-54 after 30 minutes of play. The Canadians were outscored 23-20 in the final frame as Team Argentina continued to put forth a strong shooting performance.
Canada was led in scoring by Nicholson who finished with 17 points and three rebounds. Brampton, Ont. product Tristan Thompson came within one rebound of his second-straight double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. The SMNT’s balanced attack also saw Burlington’s Brady Heslip and Pickering, Ontario’s Cory Joseph reach double figures with 11 and 10 respectively. Team Canada’s quick hands in the defensive end produced 12 steals on the night.
“We played well for a large part of the game. They played with more experience and shot the ball well from three-point range – especially in the second half,” said head coach Jay Triano when asked about the match. “We will need to re-focus and re-group as we continue to grow and develop team chemistry.”