Nash, Team Canada Face Argentina in COPABA Semifinals Saturday

Aug. 24, 2001

NEUQUEN, Argentina - The Canadian senior men's basketball team was held to their lowest offensive output Friday night, losing to Brazil, 78-69 at the COPABA Tournament of the Americas. This game completed two rounds of pool play. Canada finished fourth after the second round and will now take on the host Argentina in a semifinal match on Saturday, August 25th.

Brazil jumped out to a 17-5 lead in the first quarter as they took advantage of the sloppy Canadian squad (4-3 in the COPABA tournament). At the end of the first quarter, Brazil was ahead 26-17.

But Canada stormed back in the second quarter and after a 13-2 run to end the half, Canada was ahead 41-34 at the midway point of the game.

The third quarter was played evenly and the score was tied 57-57 at the end of three periods. Halfway through the final quarter, Brazil went on a 7-0 run and Canada never recovered.

Steve Nash (Victoria, BC) and Mike Meeks (Brampton, ON) both finished with 11 points. Peter Guarasci (Niagara Falls, ON) recorded 10 points and seven boards.

Both Brazil and Canada have secured berths in the 2002 World Championships of Basketball to be hosted in Indianapolis next August.

Andrew Kwiatkowski (Cambridge, ON), who averaged 15.1 points per game during the Tournament of the Americas, did not play tonight. He returned to Canada to attend a family wedding.

In Thursday's game against Argentina, Team Canada fell to the home team, 85-76.

Canada held a 16-14 first quarter advantage, but quickly saw that lead disappear in the second when Argentina's Ginobili scored seven points in a two-minutes span, including an alley-oop that brought the capacity crowd to its feet.

Argentina led 38-31 at the half.

At the start of the second half, Canada went to work quickly, erasing the deficit and took a 47-46 lead on a Todd MacCulloch (Winnipeg, MB) three-point play.

But Argentina went on a 14-2 run late in the game to dash any hope of Canada defeating the home team.

Andrew Kwiatkowski (Cambridge, ON) led Canada with 17 points and seven rebounds. Todd MacCulloch (Winnipeg, MB) finished with 10 while Steve Nash (Victoria, BC) and Mike Meeks (Brampton, ON) contributed 10 each.

"We were very competitive tonight, but I felt we did not play particularly well," said head coach Jay Triano. "They made their three point shots in the final quarter during a run that won it for them.

"We must do a better job keeping our composure if we are to be successful, especially in atmosphere like tonight."