02/22/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/21/2020 22:20
Oshawa (2021 AmeriCup Qualifiers) - Canada needed more than half of the game to find its offensive rhythm. Once they found it, the Canadians were unstoppable and took a definite first step in the FIBA AmeriCup 2021 Qualifiers.
With an excellent performance in the attack during the second quarter, the Canadian team left its Dominican counterparts with no space to breathe in the match on Friday, which the North won, 89-72, at the start of Group C in the AmeriCup Qualifiers game that took place at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
After staying at 35 points in the first half, Canada clapped back with 54 points in the following 20 minutes, during which it defended its home court.
Andrew Nicholson led Canada (1-0) with 16 points and seven rebounds. Phil Scrubb followed with 14 points and Kaza Kajami-Keane with 12 points and eight assists. The Canadians achieved nine of their 23 three-point shots in the second half to widen a game that was tight during the first three quarters.
The Dominican Republic (0-1) had five players in the double digits: Víctor Liz, with 18 points; Eloy Vargas, with 16; Gelvis Solano, with 11; Ángel Delgado, 12; and Adris de León, 10. Solano added six assists and Delgado eight rebounds.
The Caribbean squad couldn't figure out the Canadian attack and will now face a long trip back home to get ready for the second duel. Canada and the Dominican Republic will come face to face again this Monday in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican five.
The Dominican Republic led the first half, 40-35, thanks to a balanced offense that featured four players with seven or more points. Liz and Solano were absolutely deadly for the Canadians, contributing nine points each.
The Dominicans were very effective in the offense, with 51.9% in throws and 12 assists in 14 field goals.
Canada stayed in the game thanks to the triad comprising Aaron Best, Owen Klassen, and Nicholson, and by a formidable control of the ball (with just four losses). But the locals wanted to insist on the three-pointers, but only managed to score 4/15.
The Northerners went back to their locker rooms in good spirits, and with a three-pointer by Landry, they were once again in the lead, 43-42. The Dominicans kept their composure, and with a two-point shot by Delgado, they tied the game, 50-50, in the middle of the third quarter.
The neck-to-neck battled continued for the following minutes, with both teams exchanging points and fighting each possession. Nonetheless, Canada convincingly closed the quarter thanks to its excellent aim. A three-pointer by MiKyle McIntosh and a layup by Trae Bell-Haynes put the locals in control, 59-55.
The Dominicans were breathing down their rivals' necks, 60-58. Still, Canada kept on their effective attack, and a two-point layup by Kajami-Keane before the quarter finished took the locals to a seven-point lead, 65-58, after 30 minutes of play.
Canada continued to dominate the final quarter and, with a three-pointer by Scrubb, widened the gap, 75-66, five minutes remaining on the clock. The Dominican Republic couldn't respond to the Canadian inspiration that finished the encounter with a two-pointer by Scrubb and four consecutive points by Kajami-Keane that left the scoreboard at 83-70 with 1:06 left to play.