Arop, Olynyk Help Canada Claim 7th At FIBA U19

July 12, 2009

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Canada's Junior Men's National Team defeated France 82-74 on the final day of competition at the FIBA U19 World Championship to claim seventh place.

Four Canadians scored in double digits led by Cory Joseph (Pickering, Ont.), who bounced back from the previous game to earn top scoring honours for Canada with 18 points and eight rebounds. Mangisto Arop (Edmonton), who will now turn his attention to Gonzaga University this fall, also finished strong adding 16 points. Fellow Edmontonian Jordan Baker collected 12 points, while Marc Trasolini (Vancouver) scored 11 points and had eight rebounds.

"The team really battled," said Junior Men's Head Coach Greg Francis. "Against Croatia, who I think are a very strong team, we played well to have a chance to win. We came out on the wrong end. But then we had a chance to play France who is another strong team and we pulled this one out."

Canada was perfect from the free throw line making 10 of 10, and shot 49 per cent to France's 36 per cent from the field. The red-and-white also controlled the game defensively, collecting 48 rebounds versus 31 for the French. Canada's Kelly Oylnyk (Kamloops, B.C.), also headed for Gonzaga, was the game's top rebounder with 14.

Arop finished tied for ninth in scoring at 16.2 ppg and tied for 31st in rebounding with 5.3 rpg. Olynyk averaged 11.2 ppg for 35th, was fifth in rebounding with 8.3 rpg, tied for 12th with 1.2 blocks/game and was 44th in assists with 1.7/game.

France's Nicolas Lang led all scorers with 19 points, followed by Alexis Tanghe who added 16.

Lang got France off to a fast start, nailing 3-of-3 from the perimeter in the first quarter, while Tanghe and Trassolini enjoyed their battle in the paint as Canada took a 21-20 lead at the first break.

France's perimeter game cooled in the second period, but Christophe Leanord stepped in with seven points for the quarter, while seven points from Canada's Typhoon Nurse, including a late three-pointer, gave Canada a 38-35 halftime lead.



Canada went on an 11-4 run to start the third quarter and led 49-39 after 3:30 as Baker and Arop penetrated the French defence. But six points from Landing Sane (11 points) in the final 3:22 of the term brought France within four, 57-53 at the last break.

In the fourth, Canada again went on the offensive, scoring 15 versus France's seven. When Cory Joseph hit a three-pointer and Trassolini converted a three-point play, Canada led 63-54 and France would get no closer than six points. The red-and-white went on to win by eight, 82-74.

Canada finished the 9th Edition of the FIBA U19 World Championships in seventh place out of 16 countries, with a 4-5 record, improving upon the 10th place finish in the 2007 event. Canada also played in this tournament in 1979 (finished 7th), 1983 (14th), 1987 (6th) and 1991 (8th).

FIBA Americas is the only zone in the world to have all four qualifying teams advance to the top-eight knockout round. In addition to Canada's seventh place record, Argentina beat Puerto Rico in the battle for fifth and sixth place, while the U.S. defeated Greece for the gold.

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