GWANGJU, South Korea (Team Canada) – Canada began its quest to return to the Universiade podium in men's basketball with a 78-61 victory over Sweden on Saturday afternoon. Scarborough, Ont., native Aaron Best (Ryerson University) led Canada in the opening game with 15 points.
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The Swedes were able to keep the Canadian transition game in check for the opening half, but the trio of Ryerson Rams broke though in the third quarter and gave Canada some energy.
"We had to adjust to the different style of play in the first quarter, but we were well prepared so we took it from there," explained Best.
Forward Jordan Baker of Edmonton, Alta., knocked down a three-pointer and converted a transition lay-up from Jahmal Jones (Ryerson) to start the third off on the right foot for Canada.
Best provided the highlight of the game on an alley-oop jam set up by Rams team mate Adika Peter-McNeilly. McNeilly followed that up with a three-pointer on a kick-out from Jones to put Canada comfortably out in front 53-43.
"That's the style of play that we want to establish", said Best. "We felt a high tempo would be to our advantage and it really helped us build our lead."
Centre Mike Andrews (Bishop's University) was a factor inside, counting 13 points and six rebounds.
Canada will be back on the court in less than twenty-four hours, taking on Mexico (1-0) at 12:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. ET, Saturday). Mexico topped Mongolia 90-71 on Saturday.