Canadian men's basketball team learns from losses

Coach Jay Triano's national men's basketball team went 0-4 at the Tuto Marchand Cup, but veteran...

Coach Jay Triano's national men's basketball team went 0-4 at the Tuto Marchand Cup, but veteran Andy Rautins says the club learned what it has to do to win. (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:00 PM ET

Andy Rautins told me that the four losses the men’s national basketball team suffered at the Tuto Marchand Cup last week proved to be a great learning experience. The Nats begin the FIBA Americas Championship on Friday and though they went 0-4 at the Marchand, Rautins said the tournament brought the team closer together and brought home what they need to do to succeed.

“We’ve gotten better with each game, especially defensively,” said Rautins from Caracas. “We have to be super aggressive from the start and hit them before they hit us. We have to throw the first punch.”

Rautins is one of the veterans on the Canadian team which is hoping to finish in the top four in Venezuela and qualify for next summer’s World Cup. He made his international debut in 2005 and is excited about the future, but admits it was a bit awkward when his dad Leo stepped down as Canada's head coach and was replaced by Jay Triano.

“I told (my dad) how strange it was here without him,” said Rautins. “But it is what it is. Jay’s the coach and we’re getting along great.”


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