July 28, 2017

Team Canada reaches first semifinal since 2009

Team Canada looked to be in trouble against a strong China team in their quarterfinal game. They were down 10-21 at the end of the first quarter.

Both teams increased their defensive intensity in the second quarter, and Canada managed to narrow the margin to 26-28.

The battle continued in the second half, and Canada finally took the lead with a minute left in the third quarter, whch ended with Canada up 48-45.

Canada held on to its slim lead and emerged with a 68-65 victory.

Canada's efforts in the paint were seriously hampered by 6'9" Xu Han, who blocked seven shots and snagged 14 rebounds.

Team Canada's big gun today was Laeticia Amihere, who scored 21 points on 10-20 shooting, all layups and jumpers.

Alyssa got in some foul trouble today and spent 14 minutes on the bench. She tallied five points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.


With the win over China, Canada advances to the FIBA U19 semifinals for the first time since 2009. They will face Russia on Saturday morning at 9:30. The FIBA website has this to say about the matchup:
Canada are not only chasing their first ever Final appearance, but victory against Russia would also seal a maiden podium finish too. Their last run to the Semi-Finals came back in 2009 and this time around they will need to extend their superb unbeaten run to six games. To be successful means blunting the phenomenal Maria Vadeeva, with the Russian center having been the standout player of the tournament so far. She has experience along with Raisa Musina of having played in the 2015 Final on home soil in Chekhov. There is also the potential 'X-factor' on the wings and in the backcourt of shooting pair Daria Kurilchik and Aislinn Konig who bring the additional scoring production for their respective teams.

Note: The U19 semifinal and final games will be live-streamed on both livebasketball.tv and YouTube. I strongly recommend that you watch them on livebasketball.tv, because those streams are accompanied by excellent commentary. (The Asia Cup games have been, and I assume that the U19 games will be too.)

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