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Canada defeat Argentina to reach FIBA U17 World Cup quarter-finals

Team Canada is off to the quarter-finals of the 2024 FIBA U17 World Cup after earning a 77-70 win over Argentina.

Canadian guard jordan charles goes in for a layup against argentina 2024 fiba u17 world cup
Canadian guard jordan charles goes in for a layup against argentina 2024 fiba u17 world cup

Held to just 11 points in a sluggish opening quarter, Canada battled back to defeat Argentina 77-70 and advance to the quarter-finals of the 2024 FIBA U17 World Cup in Istanbul, Turkey.

Argentina started strong, jumping out to an early 8-2 lead and holding Canada scoreless from the field for the first seven minutes. Stefan Ilic finally broke the drought with a right corner three-pointer at the 3-minute mark, but Canada still trailed 12-11 after the opening period.

The offensive struggles continued for Canada in the second quarter. Argentina extended their lead to a game-high nine points at 24-15 on a three-pointer from Felipe Minzer.

However, Canada stayed composed. They started attacking the basket, drawing fouls and sparking a 13-1 run to take the lead at 28-27. The teams went back-and-forth before settling for a 34-34 tie at halftime.

The third quarter remained close until Canada pulled away midway through. An acrobatic layup by TJ Wall ignited a 13-2 run that gave Canada control at 55-48 heading into the final frame.

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Canada extended their lead to 60-48 early in the fourth quarter, forcing an Argentina timeout. The Argentinians responded with a 6-0 run, but Canada weathered the storm and held on for a hard-fought victory.

Team canada pose for a picture following their victory over argentina at 2024 fibau17 world cup
Team Canada pose for a picture following their victory over Argentina at the 2024 FIBA U17 World Cup – Photo: FIBA

Led by Canada’s backcourt of Miles Sadler and Jordan Charles, who each scored 18 points, four Canadians reached double figures. Paul Osaruyi finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 15 points and 9 rebounds, while Stefan Illic contributed 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

Argentina’s Tyler Kropp led all scorers with a game-high 28 points and seven rebounds on 10-of-23 shooting. Minzer finished with a near triple-double, recording 21 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, and five steals. Fidel Rotta had a strong outing with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Canada’s victory came despite the absence of starting shooting guard Quinten Ethier and 22 turnovers.

Next up for Canada (3-1) is a daunting matchup against the undefeated United States (4-0) in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Widely regarded as the most dominant USA youth squad ever assembled, the United States has a 515-237 point differential, is averaging 128 points, boasts an average margin of victory of over 75 points, and is undefeated in their first four games of the tournament.

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Canada has a 0-3 record in their previous encounters with the USA at the U17 World Cup. They lost 103-83 in the 2010 semi-finals, 113-59 in the 2012 quarter-finals, and 120-71 in the 2018 semi-finals.

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Despite a “golden generation” of talent, their only medal at this tournament remains a bronze from 2010. They’ll need to play a flawless game to stay within striking distance of the American juggernaut, which has never lost a game at the FIBA U17 World Cup and is 47-0.

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