Olynyk, Canada Advance In FIBA Americas Championship
MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - With a thrilling 103-98 overtime loss Saturday to Venezuela, Gonzaga University junior Kelly Olynyk and his Canada Senior Men's National Team teammates wrapped up their preliminary round games and will move onto the second phase of the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship.
Canada will begin second round play Monday against the lone undefeated team, Argentina at 2 p.m. PDT. They will then continue play against Puerto Rico on Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. PDT, play Uruguay Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. PDT and conclude the second phase Thursday at 7:30 a.m. PDT against Panama.
Monday's game against Argentina will be broadcast on tape delay at 5 p.m. PDT on TSN; while the rest of the games will be broadcast live on TSN2.
Eight teams have qualified for the second phase of the tournament. Each team will play the four teams they have not played yet in the tournament. From there, the top four teams will qualify for the semifinals. The fifth place team will automatically qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Heading into Saturday's game, Canada had allowed the second lowest amount of points in the tournament, and head coach Leo Rautins understands there were some lapses on defense.
"Obviously it was a tough game," said Rautins. "One of the things we have been very good at is establishing a defensive game plan. For the first time, we got away from that."
Denham Brown (Toronto, ON) echoed his coach's sentiments.
"I felt we got away from what we were trying to accomplish defensively," said Brown. "They played a really good offensive game, and it turned out in their favor."
Canada (2-2) shot an impressive 49 percent from the field for the game, but allowed Venezuela (2-2) to shoot 52 percent. Leading the way offensively for Canada was Jermaine Anderson (Toronto, ON), who scored 28 points off the bench. Brown (Toronto, ON) had 19 and Carl English (St. John's, NL) added 18.
Joel Anthony neared a double-double with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds. Brown also chipped in with six rebounds, while Aaron Doornekamp (Odessa, ON) grabbed five.
Olynyk played just one minute and had one turnover.
Brown's all-around game has taken a step forward since the start of the tournament and credits the coaching staff for his improvement.
"I prepared myself before the game to have a good performance and guarding [Greivis] Vazquez really got me going," said Brown. "The coaches really put a lot of confidence and trust in me and that's what got me going tonight."
The game got out to a great pace, as both teams exchanged baskets in the early going, with English scoring nine of Canada's first 16 points. Venezuela continued to battle taking a 23-21 lead after the first frame.
The second quarter saw much of the same offensive efficiency from both teams. A scoring flurry by Anderson, who scored 11 points in the quarter, helped Canada take a 35-34 lead at the 2:42 mark. However, Venezuela made a run of their own, and took a narrow 40-38 lead at halftime.
The seesaw battled continued into the third quarter, with Venezuela taking their largest lead of the game of seven halfway through the period. However, back-to-back three-pointers by Anderson and Jevohn Shepherd, followed by a dunk by Shepherd tied the game at 52. Canada would eventually reclaim a one-point lead after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Anderson continued to carry the load for Canada hitting two late free-throws to force overtime. In overtime, Anderson scored nine points in the five-minute extra frame, but Venezuela was able to hit key shots and held Canada at bay, en route to their second victory of the tournament.
Despite the loss, Rautins is looking forward to the second round of the tournament."We have to put this game behind us and now we must look forward to the next four games and get
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