Arop, Olynyk Efforts Not Enough As Canada Falls At U19

July 11, 2009

ND , New Zealand -Canada's Junior Men's National Team will be playing for seventh place at the FIBA U19 World Championships, after Puerto Rico squeezed out a 67-65 victory Saturday in the final seconds, despite a valiant effort by Gonzaga University-bound Mangisto Arop (Edmonton) who led all scorers with 20 points.

Canadian forward, Tristan Thompson (Brampton, Ont.), played well, bringing his toughness especially in the first half. He finished up the match with a double-double contributing 13 points and 11 rebounds. Teammate Jordan Baker (Edmonton) also colleted 11 boards to tie Thompson for top rebounding honours. Kelly Olynyk (Kamloops, B.C.), also headed for Gonzaga this fall, recorded 12 points and six boards.

Puerto Rico's Jio Fontan scored 16 points, while Raymond Cintron and Mike Rosario each added 10. Canada did a great job defending Rosario, who shot only 13 per cent on two for 16 shooting. He currently sits atop the tournament leaderboard in scoring, averaging 26.4 ppg.

Both teams did not play well offensively, with Puerto Rico shooting 31 percent to Canada's 30 per cent. Defensively it was all Canada as the red & white our-rebounded the Puerto Rican team 55-44. But Canada's perimeter was basically non-existent, with the team making only one of 17 three-pointers.

Canada led the first quarter 20-18, mainly due to Thompson who recorded six points. Arop added four. After a couple of turnovers by Canada, Joseph hit Canada's only three-pointer of the game with just over four minute left to tie the game at 13 apiece. Puerto Rico's Citron made it hard for Canada as he scored eight of his 10 points in the first period alone.

Both teams struggled to make shots in the second quarter and it wasn't until under the eight-minute mark before Puerto Rico's Isaac Sosa scored a basket to make it 21-20 for Canada. It was another two minutes before yet another basket was made, this time by Puerto Rico's Steven Miro. Sosa and Fontan followed up with a pair of deuces to give their team the lead 26-23 with five minutes to go in the half.



Canada's first basket came courtesy of Olynyk with just over three minutes left to make it 30-28. After missed shots by both teams, Canada's Thompson scored a basket with 13 seconds left on the clock to give Canada the lead at the half 35-34.

Puerto Rico's Fontan scored a quick bucket to start the third quarter, and Thompson hit two baskets to give Canada the lead 41-38 with 7:30 to go. The Canadian team continued to shut down Rosario as he missed two three's and made a couple of turnovers. But Canada's shooting woes continued and when the team got into foul trouble, the Puerto Rican team managed to tie up the game 43-43 with 4:42 left in the period. The Puerto Ricans went on a 10-4 run, mainly from free throws, to take the lead 52-47 with just over a minute in the game. Fontan made a bucket to end the third 54-47.

In the fourth, Puerto Rico's Kevin Young hit a three to give the team a 10-point lead. Canada then went on a 7-0 run thanks to buckets by Joseph, Arop and Olynyk, to make it 57-54 with six minutes to go. A couple of fouls by Puerto Rico and a quick two by Arop forced the Latin American team to call a time out with 5:48 left in the game. Jordan Baker made a two, and split his free throws to tie the game at 59. Baker was also tough defensively gathering a steal and a board. Arop rode this momentum scoring back-to-back buckets to give Canada the lead 63-61 with just under two minutes remaining. Rosario hit two clutch free throws to give Puerto Rico the lead 65-63 and Canada called timeout with one minute to go. Kelly Olynyk responded by making both free throws, after being fouled to tie the game at 65 with 22 seconds left, but Fontan hit the final basket with five seconds left to give Puerto the win 67-65.

Canada (3-5) final match will be a classification game on July 12 against France (3-5) Sunday to determine seventh and eighth place in the tournament overall.

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