HERKALION, Greece - The U19 Men's National Team claimed 5th place at the FIBA U19 World Championships after beating Italy 77-44 in Heraklion, Greece. The 5th place finish is Canada's best at the FIBA U19 World Championship tournament.
"I am incredibly proud of everything our staff and players gave to representing our country over the past month. To go 6-1 in the World Championship and place the highest we have in this age group is a special accomplishment we will treasure," said Head Coach Roy Rana.
"Our young players continue to lift Canada on the basketball map and our talent pool continues to deepen. We are all just honoured to represent our country and strive for excellence every time we step on the court."
Dillon Brooks, who scored 28 points on 10-16 shooting, with three rebounds and one blocked shot, led Canada. Corey Johnson chipped in with 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Martino Mastellari led the Italian effort with 13 points on 4-7 shooting. For full box score, click here.
Defence was the story of the day. Canada held Italy to 22.7% shooting, including 5-29 from beyond the arc.
Team Canada set the tone from the opening tip. The Italians struggled to break down the perimeter defence and were forced to settle for long jumpshots. Canada's offence took a while to settle in but hit their groove in the back-end of the period to win the quarter 25-9.
There was no relenting in the second quarter. The depth of the U19 Men's National Team allowed Canada to continue to play good defence. Italy improved slightly to score 12 points, but Canada would drop in 18 to win the quarter. At half, Rana's squad led 43-21.
Italy had a significant margin to cut down after half but Canada's defence would not waver. The half-time adjustments helped Italy slightly, but the European side could not get past Canada's length. Italy's defence was at its best, but Canada still outscored them 16-13 to increase their advantage to 59-34.
Team Canada finished the game with a strong quarter. The offence clicked a bit better than the previous quarter and the defence was as stout as it had been all game. The U19 Men's National Team would win the period 18-10 and the game 77-44.
The fifth-place finish is Canada's best result at the FIBA U19 World Championship event. Previously, Canada's best finish was sixth-place.
Source: Canada Basketball