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Canada tops Latvia wins group at FIBA U19 World Cup

Tyrese Samuel Canada Knocks Off Latvia Reaches 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Round Of 16
Tyrese Samuel Canada Knocks Off Latvia Reaches 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Round Of 16

Canada’s Junior Men’s National Team rebounded from a stunning one-point loss to Mali to defeat Latvia 78-76 and reach the Round of 16 at the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

Head coach Dan Vanhooren decided to shake-up the starting-up — opting to insert Joel Brown at the point guard position and more versatility in the front-court with Tyrese Samuel.

The decision paid dividends immediately as Tyrese Samuel (Montreal, Que) dominated the first-half with an impressive 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists to put Canada a head 36-29 at half-time.

Tyrese Samuel massive double-double

Samuel continued to dominate in the second-half and finished with massive double-double with 22 points, a tournament-high 17 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists.

Karim Mane Canada Knocks Off Latvia Reaches 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Round Of 16
Karim Mane drives to the basket against Latvia – Photo: FIBA
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Karim Mane (Montreal, Que) continued his stellar play for Canada notching a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.

Charles Bediako Canada Knocks Off Latvia Reaches 2019 Fiba U19 World Cup Round Of 16
Charles Bediako goes for a double-double against Latvia at 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup- Photo: FIBA

Rising prospect Charles Bediako

Charles Bediako also came-up big for Canada with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists in 19 minutes off the bench.

Two days after shooting a horrific 7-of-17 (41%) against Mali, the Canadian’s once again struggled from the foul-line shooting 24/44 (56.8%) from the charity stripe.

Latvia’s Arthurs Kurucs poured in 22 points, added 7 assists and 6 rebounds on 4-of-11 from downtown. The Euro-zone qualifiers knocked-down 13-of-43 triples to stay in the game while Canada struggled, connecting on only 5-of-18 from downtown.

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Setting up for Canada vs. USA.

Canada (2-1) finished first in a tight group B that featured Australia (2-1) and Mali (2-1) and had to be decided using FIBA’s complex tie-breaker format. The Aussies beat Mali 82-79 in the dying seconds of the game to claim the second-spot with Mali taking third and Latvia (0-3) in fourth-place.

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The Canadian’s will play fourth-place group A finishers Senegal (0-3) in the round of 16.

The first-place group B finish is crucial as it puts Canada on the opposite bracket of the USA, setting up for a potential finals meeting between the top two nations at FIBA U19 level.

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