Joseph, Canada fall to Venezuela in FIBA Americas


Coming into Friday, the Canadian National team had only lost one of their five FIBA Americas games. After a hard fought  contest against Venezuela on Friday, Canada came out on the losing end of a close 64-59 game when the 40-minute game had ended.

San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph led Canada in scoring with 14 points (6-of-11 shooting) and 4 rebounds in 36 minutes Friday, but the Canadian offense could never get going against Venezuela. The second quarter specifically, became a major obstacle for Canada as they only scored 12 points in the quarter.

The Canadian defense has been Canada's backbone through their early run in the FIBA Americas, and it continued to be Friday as the most points they gave up in a quarter was 19. However, the offense just could not produce consistently enough to overcome a one-time 14-point deficit against Venezuela.

One notable player in the match was Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson who produced a double-double in the game with 12 points and 20 rebounds for Canada.

Based on the standings from FIBA early Saturday morning, Canada is currently tied for second place with the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Venezuela in the second round all with 8 points behind leader Puerto Rico (9 points). The goal for Canada to advance to the next round will be to finish as one of the top four teams.

On Saturday, Canada will face the Dominican Republic.Through six games, Joseph is averaging 16.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game.