Canada goes dismal 0-4 at Tuto Marchand Cup

San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph. (AP/Martin Mejia)

Canada’s senior men’s basketball team fell to Brazil 77-70 on Monday, concluding a dismal Tuto Marchand Cup that saw Canada drop all four games it played.

Pickering, Ont.’s Cory Joseph of the San Antonio Spurs scored a game-high 20 points while Orlando Magic forward Andrew Nicholson chipped in with 17 for Canada.

Marcelinho Huertas and Alex Garcia led a Brazilian attack that featured no NBA players on the roster, dropping 19 and 18 points respectively.

The primary reason for Canada’s latest loss was actually an area of supposed strength. The Canucks allowed 34 points in the paint, something that could be concerning going forward as Canada’s interior defence has been highly touted with names like Tristan Thompson and Joel Anthony protecting the paint.

Canada’s poor inside defence could also be chalked up to Thompson only playing a little over 15 minutes as well for the sake of rest.

The game was a back-and-forth affair but the Canucks were ultimately playing catch up far too often to steal it from Brazil.

Just before the end of the third quarter Canada went on a 12-2 run to make the game 54-52 going into the final frame.

In that fourth quarter a Brady Heslip driving layup tied the game up at 61 each with just under five minutes to play but that was as close as Canada would get as both teams traded baskets afterwards before Huertas broke the game open a little with a triple that made game 73-68 with 32 seconds left to play.

Earlier on Monday, Canada Basketball announced that Kyle Landry and Kris Joseph were the final cuts to the senior team. Neither were on the bench for Canada in this game as a result.

Jermaine Anderson, Jevohn Shepherd and Junior Cadougan were on the bench but didn’t play.

Canada will now head out to Caracas, Venezuela and wait for the start of the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship, a qualifier for next year’s world championship. The qualifier begins Friday and will feature all the teams that participated at the Tuto Marchand Cup as well as Jamaica, Canada’s opponent in the two-game exhibition series it played in Toronto earlier this month.

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