Olynyk Records Double-Double; Canada Falls To 0-2

            MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - Canada's Senior Men's National Team is 0-2 after the first two games of Round 2 at the FIBA Americas Championship, falling to host Argentina 79-53 despite a strong game from Gonzaga University's Kelly Olynyk, and to Puerto Rico 79-74.

            Canada is 2-4 overall heading into a Wednesday game against Uruguay.

            Olynyk (Kamloops, BC), a junior at Gonzaga this season, scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against Argentina in his first game as a starter for Canada in the tournament.  Jevohn Shepherd (Toronto, ON) continued his strong play with 12 points, and Carl English (St. John's NL) added nine.

            "We were really pleased that Kelly bounced back with a great game and that we had an opportunity to limit the minutes for our core players, given the quick turnaround to the morning game tomorrow," continued Rautins, who was impressed with Olynyk's performance.
            Canada continued to battle into the second quarter, with Olynyk leading the charge capped-off by a fast break dunk to cut the lead to five halfway through the second quarter. However, Argentina went on a 12-2 run to take a 15 point lead after one half of play.
            The third quarter started off fast for Canada, with a Joel Anthony (Montreal, QC) bucket, followed by a lay-up by English, which cut the Argentina lead to 11. Despite two late three-pointers by Andy Rautins (Syracuse, NY), this would be the closest Canada would get in the quarter.
            The fourth quarter saw Argentina's Luis Scola and Andres Nocioni score a combined 20 points in the frame to keep Canada from making a comeback en route to the victory.
            Against Puerto Rico, the Canadians used a big fourth quarter push and out-scored Puerto Rico 27-17, but came up just short.

            Olynyk was in the starting lineup again but failed to score in 12 minutes of action but grabbed a team-high 6 rebounds.

            "Obviously it was a tough loss," said head coach Leo Rautins. "I think last night's game appeared to have an effect on us in the first half. We appeared very sluggish, like we were walking in cement. We dug ourselves a hole that we were fortunate to get out of, but Puerto Rico made some plays down the stretch and we weren't able to recover."
            In the second quarter, Puerto Rico began to build their lead, going on a 9-2 run to start the quarter, which helped propel them to a 42-29 lead heading into halftime.
            Canada began its comeback early in the fourth quarter, going on an 11-2 run in the first two and half minutes to cut the lead to a mere six points led by Denham Brown (Toronto, ON), Cory Joseph (Pickering, ON) and Olynyk. Canada continued their comeback, which was capped off by a 3-pointer by Aaron Doornekam (Odessa, ON) to tie the game at 67 at the 2:17 mark. However, five straight points by Carlos Arroyo put Puerto Rico up with under a minute to play.


 

 

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