After back-to-back wins at the FIBA Americas tournament, San Antonio Spurs’ Cory Joseph and Team Canada knew that they will be in for a tough battle against Venezuela.
Heading into the game, Canada had allowed the second lowest amount of points in the tournament, and head coach Leo Rautins understands that defense will be their key to success.
Canada shot an impressive 49 percent from the field for the game, but allowed Venezuela to shoot 52 percent, and that proved to be the difference.
Venezuela led 23-21 after one quarter and held on to a 40-38 lead at the half.
It was a see-saw battle throughout the game, as Canada took the lead 63-62 going into the fourth quarter.
Venezuela won the fourth quarter 22-21 that sent the game into overtime.
The extra period belonged to Greivis Vazquez, who led the way offensively for Venezuela with 29 points before fouling out. In the end, Venezuela won the game 103-98.
Hector Romero added 28 points for Venezuela while David Cubillan had 15 points and 10 assists in the victory.
Jermaine Anderson led Canada with 28 points off the bench, Denham Brown had 19 and Carl English added 18.
Miami Heat’s Joel Anthony had a near double-double with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds.
With Anderson’s big game, Spurs’ Joseph who started in all four games for Canada played just 15 minutes and had one point, three rebounds, two assists and one turnover.
Despite the loss, Rautins is looking forward to the second round of the tournament.
Joseph and Team Canada advanced into the second phase of the tournament, which begins on Monday.