Sacramento Kings’ Francisco Garcia walked off of the floor with tears in his eyes.
Garcia and the Dominican Republic were down by double digits with five minutes remaining in the game against Canada when they made an improbable comeback with full court defense and some “lucky” outside shots. At the end of the game though, San Antonio Spurs’ Cory Joseph and Canada were able to hold the Dominican Republic from their comeback as they held on to win 73 to 72.
After falling to Tiago Splitter and Brazil on Wednesday, Joseph and Canada got their first win of the 2011 FIBA Americas as Joseph tallied six points, four assists, two rebounds, and two steals in 22 minutes of action.
Team Canada will have to work on taking better care of the ball against the full court press. In Wednesday’s loss to Brazil, Canada lost the game by taking poor shots and committing turnovers in the fourth quarter due to Brazil’s defense. In Thursday’s game, the Dominican Republic turned up the pressure with five minutes remaining and Canada once again began to turn over the ball and choose horrible shot selections.
Canada was led by New York Knicks’ Andy Rautins 15 points and Miami’s Joel Anthony who scored eight points and grabbed 10 boards.
Jack Michael Martinez led the Dominican Republic with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks scored 17 points and Garcia had 12 points for the Dominican Republic.
Joseph and Canada will face Cuba on Friday in day four of the FIBA Americas tournament. Tiago Splitter and Brazil will face the Dominican Republic while Manu Ginobili and Argentina will play against Puerto Rico on Friday evening.
* Erazem Lorbek and Slovenia defeated Ukraine earlier 68-64 in the FIBA Eurobasket as Lorbek scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds in 24 minutes.