Editor’s note: The start time of the Canada-Uruguay game at the FIBA Americas Championship has been been pushed back by a power failure. The game will be seen live on Sportsnet 360 beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Team Canada finally got a day off Monday, after being on the court for three games in three days.
But that respite didn’t last long as they return to action against Uruguay at the FIBA Americas tournament in Caracas, Venezuela on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
While both the Canadians and Uruguayans are both coming off surprising wins over Brazil, the thrashing that Canada leveled on Sunday may have impacted the Brazilians a day later.
But the fact that Tuesday’s opponent was able to secure a 79-73 victory proves that they cannot be taken lightly.
Programming note: Watch Canada take on Uruguay at the FIBA Americas tournament live on Sportsnet 360 at 10:30 p.m. ET. | Full TV Schedule
While Canada’s previous two opponents, Brazil and Puerto Rico, featured a strong backcourt attack, the Uruguayans top player works out of the low blocks.
Esteban Batista, who was the first Uruguayan to play in the NBA, has been posting double-doubles in Caracas like Karl Malone.
The former Atlanta Hawk is a player who looks like he would be a brute down low but has a few nimble post moves to keep defences honest.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and Miami heat centre Joel Anthony will likely be charged with slowing Batista.
If Thomson continues to run the floor throughout the tournament the way he has thus far, it will likely create problems for the opposition.
While Batista has been the top scorer for Uruguay, Canada will also need to extend the pressure on sharpshooter Leandro Garcia Morales. He has shot 47 per cent from beyond the arc over Uruguay’s first three games.
As they have throughout the tournament, Canada will be facing a more-experienced opposition. As they did against Brazil, they will need to maintain poise in this contest.
Veteran Jermaine Anderson was the settling factor in that contest so expect to see his minutes continue to increase as the tournament goes on.
Anderson and lesser lights such as Anthony and Andy Rautins have been key to keeping the young Canadian NBA stars on track.
This will be the last game for both sides in the preliminary round.
The top four teams in both pools will move on into a single pool where they will carry over their record to the next round minus the win over the teams that have been eliminated.
Because Uruguay will advance after recording a pair of wins, it is important that Canada pulls off a victory here because it will count in the next round.