Canada beats Venezuela but fails to move on at FIBA AmeriCup

A young fan waits for the arrival at Toronto's Pearson Airport for members of Canada's under-19 Basketball team (Chris Young/CP)

BAHIA BLANCA, Argentina — Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 22 points and eight rebounds as Canada defeated Venezuela 75-66 in preliminary round play on Tuesday night at the FIBA AmeriCup.

The Canadians finished the tournament with a 1-2 record and failed to advance into the semifinals.

"These games are about passion as much as they are about tactics and strategy," said Canada head coach Roy Rana. "I think we got better and better and it’s been nothing but a positive experience here."

Andrew Nicholson added 12 points for Canada while Dyshawn Pierre had a team-high 11 rebounds.

John Cox led Venezuela with 22 points.

The Canadians found themselves trailing by five at the end of the first quarter but came back to take a 29-27 lead at halftime.

The game was tied 48-48 heading into the fourth quarter before the Canadians put up 27 points to claim victory.

It was Canada’s second win over Venezuela in the past three matchups.

The FIBA AmeriCup is an exhibition tournament and is preparation for qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in China.

Qualifying for the 32-team World Cup now features a two-round tournament of home and away games. The World Cup is a major qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.