Canada loses in overtime

Venezuela's David Cubillan dribbles the ball under pressure from Canada's Aaron Doornekamp (right)...

Venezuela's David Cubillan dribbles the ball under pressure from Canada's Aaron Doornekamp (right) and Cory Joseph (left) during their first-round game of the FIBA Americas Championship in Mar del Plata. (REUTERS)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:42 PM ET

Canada has put itself in an extremely difficult position at the FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina.

The senior men’s basketball team battled to force overtime against Venezuela, but gave up too many second-chance points in a 103-98 loss.

It was by far the most points Canada has conceded so far, which bothered head coach Leo Rautins.

“We have been good at establishing a defensive game plan but for the first time we went away from that,” lamented Rautins.

It wasn’t due to overconfidence though, added Denham Brown.

“One thing we’ve done in the past is underestimate teams,” Brown said.

“I didn’t think we did that (Saturday).”

The top two finishers gain berths at the 2012 Olympics, while teams 3-5 make a last-chance qualifier next year.

Canada (2-2) advances to the quarterfinal round, but would now fail to make the last-chance event should it tie for fifth with Venezuela.

Wins against teams that failed to advance are wiped out, meaning Canada goes forward with just a single win counting.

Canada does have the advantage over the Dominican Republic (which carries two wins through) in the event of a tie due to Thursday’s one-point win, but would need to win more than the Dominican in the next round to take advantage of that fact.

Canada will meet Argentina and Puerto Rico — the top two squads at this tournament — as well as beatable Uruguay and Panama in the quarters, which start on Monday.

Four of the remaining eight teams will go on to the single elimination semifinals.

On Saturday, Jermaine Anderson led Canada with 28 points and Joel Anthony split a pair of free throws to force overtime after a see-saw game.

However, Venezuela broke down Canada’s defence and controlled the offensive glass in the extra frame.

Canada was hurt by an injury to forward Levon Kendall. Kendall’s tenacity on the glass was missed and Rautins was unsure of his status going forward.

Canada failed to hit important shots on a few occasions which could have led to the crucial victory.

“We still haven’t had a game where more than one or two guys are hitting shots,” Rautins said.

“There’s a lot better to come on offence for us.”

Due to the loss, winning twice in the next round probably won’t be enough

to push Canada up to fifth, so three victories likely will be required.

“We have to take care of business,” Rautins said.

“There’s no easy games.”

 


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