TORONTO — The Canadian U23 men’s national team defeated Brazil 89-75 in its first game of the GLOBL JAM tournament on Tuesday at Mattamy Athletic Centre.
In a contest that was close throughout, with plenty of lead changes and ties, Brazil threatened to pull away late after taking a three-point lead on a three-pointer from Yago Dos Santos with 6:52 remaining. But Canada closed the game on a 20-3 run to take back control and secure the win.
Emanuel Miller scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the pivotal fourth quarter as the Canadians outscored Brazil 22-9. Marcus Carr added a 14-point, 10-assist double-double, while Quincy Guerrier scored 13 points and Leonard Miller added 11 points.
Though it was just the first game for the group at GLOBL JAM, team chemistry was already intact.
“A lot of these guys, I’ve been playing with and against since we were little kids,” Carr said. “To get this opportunity to come out here and play with them, and show our country, show everybody that’s watching what we have to offer and compete on the international level at home has been great. It’s really fun.”
Canada shot 44 per cent in the game compared to 32 per cent shooting for Brazil. While the Brazilians struggled from the floor, they owned the offensive glass, getting extra possessions thanks to 21 offensive boards.
Dos Santos led Brazil with a game-high 20 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in the loss. Rafael Rachel scored 15 points and Marcio Santos added 11 points.
After a back-and-forth first half, Canada used a 12-3 run to close the second quarter and take a 45-37 lead into the break.
The teams continued to trade baskets in the third until a late push from Brazil as a three-point play from Dikembe Andre tied the game at 57-57. Ryan Nembhard responded for Canada with a floater and then a long pull-up two to keep Canada in front 63-61. After a pair of free throws for Rachel, Canada went into the fourth leading 67-66, setting up the furious finishing run.
While securing the win was the priority, getting to play at home meant the world to Carr.
“It was amazing,” he said, “I haven’t played at home in a very long time. Just to be in this environment, in front of my family, on home court, seeing a bunch of friendly faces I’ve been seeing ever since playing basketball growing up, it’s kind of surreal. I really can’t even put it into words, but I’m just glad to have this opportunity.”
Canada faces the United States on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT on Sportsnet.