Germany squanders Canada’s medal hopes

Mathieu Belanger / Team Canada was eliminated from medal contention with a loss to Germany.
Mathieu Belanger / Team Canada was eliminated from medal contention with a loss to Germany.

Taipei City, Chinese Taipei – A dominant first quarter couldn’t carry the Canadian men’s basketball team to victory in their final pool play game as Germany emerged 85-73 victors.

Needing a win of eight or more points to advance to the quarter-final, Canada got the start it needed with a 28-14 lead after one quarter of play. The red and white started hot from the floor shooting 11-for-16 and also played solid defence with four steals.

Germany switched to a zone defence in the second quarter and the change seemed to throw the Canadians out of their rhythm. Canada managed just three points in the first six minutes of the quarter and was outscored 19-12 overall to see their lead at halftime dip to seven points at 40-33.

“I thought we did a really good job in the first half, especially the start of the game in the first quarter. We established our goal to outrebound them and (in the) first half they didn’t have a single offensive rebound so we really did a good job there," said Canadian head coach Kevin Hanson following the game.

In the third quarter, Germany started to flex their muscle and find their way to the glass. Canada’s Jean-Pierre Emmanuel-Charles gave the red and white a boost with an offensive rebound and emphatic put-back dunk but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Germans. By the end of the third quarter, Canada’s lead had evaporated and the score was knotted at 52-52.

With momentum on their side, Germany opened the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run including an alley-oop that fired up the crowd at Taipei Arena. Canada was never able to regain the lead and Germany controlled the tempo to emerge with the 85-73 win.

“Their depth hurt us…they’re the biggest and longest team here – I thought that really affected us,” said Hanson about Germany following the game. “We had good penetration in the first half and all of a sudden we settled for outside jumpers and I think that was a big difference for us.”

With games still to come in the classification round, coach Hanson took time to comment on the importance of the experience at the Games for his student-athletes.

“It’s been great for them, I think for U SPORTS athletes to get an experience to see this. The speed of the game is a lot different here and some of the guys are still adjusting to that but overall it can only enhance the development of our student-athletes playing in these Games.”

Canada returns to action on August 27.