Aug. 17, 2001
NEUQUEN, Argentina - Former Santa Clara University men's basketball standout and current Dallas Mavericks point guard Steve Nash continues his incredible streak of success in international competition, averaging 23.5 points and 14 assists for Team Canada in the first two games of the COPABA Tournament of the Americas.
After defeating the U.S. Virgin Islands by a score of 108-97 in the first round, the Canadian squad came out on the short end in round two, losing 101-98 to Puerto Rico in the COPABA Tournament of the Americas. Both games went into overtime.
In game two of the COPABA Tournament of the Americas, Canada lead by 14 points after three quarters of play, but Puerto Rico's full court pressure and trapping defence in the final period brought them back into the game.
Puerto Rico led 89-88 after Jerome Mincy hit two free throws with less than a minute remaining. Canada turned the ball over on the next possession and was forced to foul. Puerto Rico converted one of two free throws. Mike Meeks (Brampton, ON) nailed a 12-footer with .4 seconds remaining to tie the game 90-90 and send it into overtime.
In overtime, Mincy hit a three-pointer and Jose Ortiz hit his free throws to seal the win.
At times the game looked like a rugby match with bodies all over the floor.
Nash, a native of Victoria, British Columbia, led all scorers with 34 points including an outstanding seven of nine from the three-point line to go along with his 12 assists. Peter Guarasci added 16 points and eight boards. Todd MacCulloch finished with 14 points and seven boards.
"Although we are very disappointed with the loss, we did improve on yesterday's performance," said head coach Jay Triano. "The referees let the game go in the fourth quarter and it allowed Puerto Rico to come back."
Canada has tomorrow off and will resume action on Sunday, August 19, 2001 against Panama. In earlier action today, Panama defeated Mexico 109-106. Canada's record now sits at 1-1.