Dominant 4th quarter pushes Puerto Rico over Canada in FIBA Americas tournament


After defeating Jamaica in the opening game of the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament on Friday, the Canadian National team returned to the court in Caracas, Venezuela Saturday against the heavy guard rotation of Puerto Rico.

After three quarters of play in which Canada was only trailing Puerto Rico by 1-point (59-58) heading into the fourth quarter, it was a dominant defensive 24-9 point fourth quarter by the Puerto Ricans that led them to an 83-67 victory over Canada.

San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph, who was the star in Friday's victory, had an inconsistent game Saturday as he couldn't find a decent rhythm going 2-of-7 shooting from the field for 4 points, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, but Joseph did grab 6 rebounds in the loss.

Unlike Jamaica's guards, Joseph had to defend some established guards in former NBA player Carlos Arroyo who was Puerto Rico's leading scorer with 20 points. Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea also scored 11 points in the match.

For the Canadians, Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson scored 20 points and 9 rebounds. Andrew Nicholson also poured in 21 points for Canada.

Canada is now 1-1 in Phase 1 of the FIBA Americas tournament which puts them with 3 points (second) in Group A. The goal after Phase 1 is for Canada to finish in the top 4-of-5 positions to advance to Phase 2. Joseph will face a tough challenge on Sunday as Canada will take on Marcelo Huertas and Brazil.