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Canada Bounces Back With Two Wins at FIBA Americas

Canada bounced back from a loss to Argentina with back-to-back victories at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City.

Canada had a dominant 101-59 victory over Cuba on Tuesday.

“I thought we were more focused and we were able to play all 12 minutes and balance the minutes. With four games in four days, we felt that was important,” said Head Coach Jay Triano. “Once we got the ball in transition, that’s the way we want to play – we want to try and score easy baskets as much as we can.”

Nik Stauskas and Andrew Wiggins led Canada with 15 points each, and every player on the roster had at least two points. Canada played strong defensively, limiting Cuba to 28 per cent shooting accuracy.

Centre Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops had six points, three rebounds, and one assist in the victory.

Canada took the momentum forward to the next game, an 82-62 win over Venezuela on Wednesday.

Canada jumped out to an early 25-15 lead and never looked back, taking a 47-28 lead into halftime.

Venezuela pressed hard in the second half, but could only bring the lead within 16 points as Canada buckled down defensively, limiting the Venezuelans to a 31 per cent shooting accuracy.

Olynyk led Canada with six assists, was second on the team with 14 points, and added eight rebounds in the victory.

“When we can stop teams like that, we hope to just keep running and pushing the ball up the floor,” Triano said. “We have a target, people think we’re one of the better teams here and if we play well we could be.”

Canada will wrap up the preliminary round on Friday against Puerto Rico at 4 p.m. PST.

Canada has secured a spot in the second round, which will see them play four games between Sunday and Wednesday. The top four teams will advance to the semifinals.





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