Rising Canadian point guard Cashius McNeilly scored a game-high 22-points to lead Canada past 2017 U16 FIBA Americas hosts and Group A opponents Argentina 75-61. The young Canadians led from the opening tip, scoring the games first two points, never looking back against a team they have notoriously struggled against in the U16 age group.
Canada led 22-12 after the first-quarter and maintained control of the game at half-time with a 43-26 advantage. Argentina came out of the locker room determined to cut into Canada’s lead however any hopes of a comeback were quickly stifled in the second half has the more athletic Canadian squad continued to get good looks off dribble penetration and maintained their defensive assignments forcing Argentina into tough shots.
Argentina was paced by crafty 5’10” point guard Gaston Bertona’s 21 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Canada also got strong performances from Malachi Ndur who contributed a solid 8 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes. Other notables included Luka Sakota who finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds and Shemar Rathan-Mayes 9 points and four rebounds. Paris Shand used is superior size and finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds to help Canada dominate the glass with a 45-37 advantage.
The one area for concern was Canada’s lack of assists (6) compared to acceptable, but not great 13 turnovers. Canada shot only 5-for-21 from the three-point line and 16-of-26 from the free-throw.
Canada will look to keep the momentum going when it faces Paraguay in their next group A match-up.