Canadian men's basketball team drops opener

Canada's Andrew Nicholson drives under the basket past Jamaica's Samardo Samuels during last...

Canada's Andrew Nicholson drives under the basket past Jamaica's Samardo Samuels during last night's exhibition tilt at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. The rematch goes tomorrow. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:02 AM ET

Canada dropped the opener of the Tutu Marchand Continental Cup to host Puerto Rico on Thursday night.

The tournament is a tune-up for next week’s FIBA Americas Championship, where four berths will be earned for next year’s FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Minnesota guard J.J. Barea lit up the Canadians with 23 points and eight assists, helping Puerto Rico to a 40-30 half-time edge by notching 15 through two quarters.

Orlando forward Andrew Nicholson paced the visitors with 21 points and Cleveland big man Tristan Thompson was excellent with 10 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes of play.

Canada closed within three heading into the final quarter, before a 10-2 run made the deficit too great to erase.

Another tough opponent in Argentina awaits Canada on Friday.


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