AUCKLAND (FIBA U19 World Championship) - A composed final quarter has seen Canada record a hard fought 67-57 victory over Argentina and move through to the FIBA U19 World Championship quarter finals.
A three pointer on the final buzzer from Kelly Olynk would have moved Canada to third place in Group F. It missed, and Canada finish fourth and now face the USA in a knockout quarter final on Friday at the North Shore Events Centre.
Argentina are now likely to play Greece on Friday in the same quarter final match-up as the Beijing Olympics. That game produced a classic.
In today’s game, Canada burst out the blocks behind exciting point guard Cory Joseph, who scored 10 points as the North Americans took 19-8 lead with 3:20 remaining in the first period.
But forward Mateo Gaynor came off the bench to spark Argentina, and his lay up with 1:11 left in the first brought his team within 16-19. The South Americans continued their charge in the second quarter, scoring four baskets in the first 1:31 to take a 25-21 lead.
It took a late Magnisto Arop-led charge and a Joseph buzzer beater to restore Canada’s lead, 36-34, at half time. Arop scored 6 points in three minutes to stem the Argentine charge.
In the decisive third quarter Arop (18 points) and Joseph (20 points, 9/15 fg) led the way for Canada, and an emphatic Tristan Thompson dunk gave the Anericas bronze medallists a 48-40 advantage, with a long range buzzer beater from Typhoon Nurse making the score 54-45 at three quarter time.
While Argentina repeatedly challenged in the final term, Canada ran down the clock intelligently and recorded an impressive victory.
Lisandro Rasio (14 points, 7 rebounds) and Luciano Gonzalez (12 points) were solid for Argentina, who struggled to shake the committed Canadian defence.
Greg Francis, Canada coach :
“Argentina were a tough opponent for us, but now we get to play in the quarter finals of a FIBA World Championship, and that’s a good thing for Canada.
I am really feel proud of these guys, because they have had a couple of tough games which were hard to take. But getting this win will give us some great momentum going into the quarter finals.
I know this team, with the right momentum can beat anyone here, and now we get another opportunity.”
Juan Fernandez, Argentina :
“They play a great game. We weren’t focused for 40 minutes, you know, we played a very disappointing game and they took advantage of it.
It’s going to be difficult. Everything is tough at a world cup, and it will be even more so in the playoffs. We have just got to tried to be prepared, and play a little different to what we have been doing.
We slow down for some parts of the game and the other teams don’t forgive us, they take advantage of it. It’s a world cup, if you want to go on the podium you have got to beat everybody.”