Canada’s U19 National Team hopes of a World Championship medal are alive and well at the 2017 FIBA U19 Championships in Egypt, Cairo. Canada used a big second-half to route Angola 87-65 and advance to the last eight quarter-final round.
The Canadians opened-up the game with their best scoring quarter of the tournament, knocking down seven three-pointers in the opening ten minutes and grabbed a 30-23 lead thanks to the hot shooting Danillo Djuricic’s 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the outside.
Canada shot 7-of-13 (53%) from downtown and 9/18 (50%) from the floor in the quarter.
Angola, the 2017 African Champions found their groove in the second-quarter dominating the Canadians on both ends of the floor. Canada was forced to drop into a 3-2 zone as and outscored Canada 19-12, briefly holding a four-point lead – their largest of the game before a late three-pointer by Abu Kigab tied it at 42-42 at half-time.
Veteran Canadian Head Coach Roy Rana dialed-up a full-court press to start the third-quarter, combined by Angola’s poor shot selection, Canada scored three straight buckets, two in the paint by Prince Oduro (9 points, 5 rebounds) to pull ahead 48-42 as Angola struggled to find their shot. After mustering only two points in the first-half Nova’s Scotia’s Lindell Wigginton started to attack the basket and helped Canada push the lead back-up to nine points at 54-45 forcing the African champs to call a time out.
Canada’s defense held Angola to just three-points with 2:09 to play in the quarter before five quick points by Angola closed the gap at 64-50 with one quarter remaining. The route continued in the final frame with Canada limiting Angola to 15 points for a total of just 23 second-half points compared to 45 by the Canada.
Djuricic paced Canada with 22 points and three rebounds, Abu Kigab (6’6″/198lbs/St. Catherines, ON) racked-up an impressive international double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds on 4-of-6 triples. Canada’s backcourt duo of Rowan Barrett Jr. (18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) and Lindell Wigginton added 13 points, 9 rebounds and six assists.
Angola’s Silvio Sousa, a future rising star for his country with NBA potential finished with 18 points and nine rebounds including three rim rocking dunks. Prior to this game Canada and Angola had only faced each other on two previous occasions, back at the 1983 World Championships in Spain (Angola 84 – Canada 61) and the 1991 world championships with Canada winning 91-65 on home soil in Edmonton, Alberta.
Canada finished fifth at the 2015 U19 Championships in Greece with a roster that featured Dillon Brooks (Memphis Grizzlies/NBA), Justin Jackson (Maryland Terrapins/NCAA).
Canada (3-1) will now face the winner of France versus Puerto Rico in the Quarter-Finals on Friday July 7th.
Canada earns silver at 2019 FIBA U16 Americas Championships
Canada’s U16 Men’s national team captured a third straight silver medal at the 2019 FIBA Americas championships falling 94-77 to the United States of America in the Gold medal game in Belem, Brazil.
The highly anticipated bout featuring the two top U16 FIBA-ranked teams in the world didn’t disappoint — showcasing upwards of a combined 10 potential NBA draftees.
Team Canada kept the game tight for the first 10 minutes and took their only lead of the game at 17-15 with 2:02 in to play, before a late triple gave the USA a 18-17 lead to close the quarter.
The USA took the game to the Canadians in the second-quarter, outscoring Canada 27-15 for a 45-32 half-time lead.
Caleb Houstan (Mississauga, Ont.) scored 25 points and three rebounds and finished as the championship’s second leading scorer with 22.8 points per game. Houstan, a silky smooth forward had a tournament high 29 points to become Canada’s top scorer in U16 FIBA Americas competition — breaking Kevin Pangos 28 point record from 2009.
Canada showed some bark in the third-quarter with solid defensive stretches and back-to-back dunks, cutting the lead to single digits on multiple occasions and closing in at 57-51 of the Americans with 4:34 to play.
The Americans rallied with a 13-6 run to end third-quarter for a comfortable 72-57 lead and put it in cruise control in the fourth-quarter — stretching the lead to a game-high 21 points.
Despite the loss, the final 17-point deficit ties the lowest spread between the two squads in five championship or semi-finals games at the FIBA Americas tournament.
Team Canada has now lost all five games against the USA at the FIBA U16 Americas championships — dropping three-straight gold medal games — 111-60 in 2017 and 77-60 in 2015 and two semi-finals encounters, 113-70 in 2011 and 126-78 in 2009.
Ryan Nembhard (Aurora, Ont) wrapped the tournament with another outstanding effort with 21 points, 9 assists and 2 rebounds. Nembhard led the tournament with a total of 54 assists, good for 9 per game, and was Canada’s second leading scorer at 14.3 points per game.
Enoch Boakye (Brampton, Ont) 12 points and 13 rebounds concluded the tournament with his third straight game in double-figures rebounding and was the third top rebounder in the competition at 10.8 per game. Boakye had of two of the tournaments top 10 rebounding performances with 17 against Mexico and 16 against Dominican Republic.
Both Houstan and Ryan Nembhard were named to the tournaments all-star team alongside Dominican Republic’s Jean Montero — including the USA’s Jalen Durne and tournament MVP Christopher Livingston.
Canada finished the tournament 5-1 with group B victories over Uruguay 101-63, Brazil 90-67, Puerto Rico 96-76 and wins over Mexico 95-78 and 97-81 over the Dominican Republic in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.
The U16 Canadian squad has reached the podium five times since the inaugural, bi-annual American zone tournament kicked-off 10 years ago in 2009 — earning three silver and two bronze medals. Canada lost a heart-breaking 65-64 semi-finals loss to Argentina in 2013.
Canada has qualified for the 2020 U17 FIBA World Championships where they will look to improve from their 2018 4th-place finish.
Shaedon Sharpe posterizes Dominican defender at U16 FIBA Americas
Canadian 16-year old high-flyer Shaedon Sharpe took off and posterized a Dominican Republic defender at the 2019 FIBA U16 Americas championship in Brazil.
With 35 seconds to play the first-half Sharpe shook off a defender with a sweet pump fake and then took-off baseline and dropped a Jordanesque poster all-over the Dominican defender.
Canada broken a tightly contested semi-finals contest to beat the Dominican Republic 97-81 to reach the finals of the 2016 FIBA U16 Americas championships.
Sharpe finished with 17 points , four rebounds and three assists, shooting 8-for-10 from the field.