Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Canada claims hoops bronze at FIBA Americas

NEVIA, Colombia — The Canadian women’s basketball team defeated Cuba 59-46 on Saturday night to claim the bronze medal at the FIBA Americas tournament.

Teresa Gabriele and Kim Smith, both of Mission, B.C., led the offence with 13 points each for Canada, which was coming off a 61-59 semifinal loss to Argentina on Friday.

“I’m proud of the way that we battled back tonight,” said Smith, who also had six rebounds. “Third place is a huge accomplishment and we are very happy with a bronze medal.”

Saskatoon’s Krista Phillips chipped in with eight points and Miranda Ayim of London, Ont., had seven. Chelsea Aubry of Kitchener, Ont., led the team with seven rebounds.

Canada had already locked up a spot in the 12-team world Olympic qualifier next June by virtue of its top-four finish. The tournament winner receives an automatic berth in the 2012 London Summer Games.

“I’m very proud of our team tonight,” said head coach Allison McNeill, “and so happy for them to get a medal and also for the journey ahead to get ready for the world Olympic qualifier next summer.”

Argentina faced Brazil in the gold-medal game later Saturday.

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