Thursday, September 1, 2011

Brazil rallies to beat Canada at FIBA Americas

Cory Joseph of Canada controls the ball against Marcelo Huertas, of Brazil, during the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship Olympic qualifying round game, on August 31, 2011, at Islas Malvinas Stadium, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photograph by: Maxi Failla, AFP/Getty Images

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina — Canada got off to a hot start, but couldn't maintain the pace in a 69-57 loss to Brazil to open the FIBA Americas men's basketball tournament.

The underdog Canadians built a 17-12 first-quarter lead and trailed by just one point heading into the fourth quarter. But Brazil (2-0) pulled away, out scoring Canada 22-11 in the final frame to keep pace with the Dominican Republic for first place in Group A.

Canada only shot 32.8 per cent from the field in the contest but, according to head coach Leo Rautins the poor shooting was more a case of bad luck than bad execution.

"We just kind of got out of some of the stuff we did and made a few bad decisions and missed shots that we normally make," Rautins said in a news release. "We had some good opportunities, some good looks and we certainly got plenty of shots up, especially early and that could've made a major separation between us and Brazil early in the game and we just didn't get those shots to go down."

Canada got balanced scoring, with Jermaine Anderson of Toronto leading the way with nine points. Cory Joseph of Pickering, Ont., and Aaron Doornekamp of Odessa, Ont., each scored eight and Joel Anthony of Montreal and Levon Kendall of Vancouver both chipped in with six. Anthony also had nine rebounds.

In all 10 Canadians scored at least a point.

"We knew coming in that it was going to be a tough game," Anderson said. "We knew they play very physical and they like to run a lot of pick-and-rolls. We had a good game plan but there was that five minute stretch in the first half and then that five minute stretch in the second half and that might have cost us the game.

Marcelo Tieppo Huertas had a game-high 17 for Brazil. Tiago Splitter pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Canadians are back on the court on Thursday against the Dominican Republic (2-0).

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