This article was posted on the Canada Basketball website after the Men’s U18 Gold Medal Final yesterday between Canada and the US. Canada Basketball has a very exciting things in store for the future so I thought I would share this article with you.
VALDIVIA, CHILE - The U18 Men's National Team is bringing home silver after a hugely successful showing at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 Men's Championship, where Team Canada qualified for next summer's FIBA U19 Men's World Championships in Cairo.
Canada wrapped things up by giving the United States all it could handle before coming up just short, 99-84, in the gold medal final on Saturday.
"We are disappointed because we believe we had a real shot to bring home a gold for our country, but extremely proud of our group for fighting through injury and adversity and never giving up,” said Team Canada coach Roy Rana. “Canada should be proud of these young men. They battled hard for our country. We will continue to strive for improvement and look to represent at next year's Worlds in Cairo."
Canada's starting five included Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, O'Shae Brissett, Josip Vrankic, Nickeil Walker and Lindell Wigginton Click here for full team roster.
Walker led Canada with 25 points and shot a scorching seven-for-14 on three-pointers. Abu Kigab had a double-double, 17 points and 11 rebounds, off the bench, while Brissett contributed 11 points and seven boards for Canada. Team USA's top point scorer was Markelle Fultz with 23. For game boxscore click here.
Canada battled back from an early 15-9 deficit to cut Team USA's lead to 24-23 after one quarter. Wigginton led Team Canada with 8 points in the opening quarter.
The two sides went back and forth in the second quarter, trading baskets and swapping leads before Team USA scored the final seven points of the half to take a 48-44 lead at the break. Abu Kigab, who had already made two three-points in the first quarter, made three more in the second period for Canada.
Walker helped keep Canada close throughout the second half, scoring eight points in both the third and fourth quarters.
Jordan Henry hit a jumper with just under three minutes remaining in the third to pull Canada within six at 65-59, before the Americans finished the frame on a 10-4 run to take a 75-63 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Trailing 80-65, Canada made an inspired comeback attempt, with a 15-2 surge that nearly erased the Americans' lead. Canada got as close as two points, 82-80, midway through the fourth.
Prior to Saturday's contest, Team Canada was 4-0 at Americas. Canada finished first in Group A and defeated Puerto Rico 83-66 in a semi-final on Friday.
By finishing second, Canada equals its all-time best result in the history FIBA Americas U18 Men's Championships, which it achieved with a silver medal in 2014.