Oh Canada! Coach Jay Triano was testing out the waters with his youthful starting lineup going 12 men deep in a rotation stock full of depth. For coach Triano it had to be great to get the guys out on the court playing and playing against some healthy competition in Team Jamaica.
The opening tip began with some sluggish basketball. Jamaica looked to find its groove early and with a seemingly straight and distort face coach Triano was harping on his team to pick up the pace.
Junior Cadougan a graduate of Marquette who played for the Milwaukee Bucks was one of the first Canadians. He showed his confidence off the bench drawing contact and making a conscious effort to get to the charity stripe.
There were moments late in the third quarter where things got a little chippy and Tristan Thompson found his momentum.
“The game got away from us,” said center Adrian Uter. Samardo Samuels could have been reason for the decline in play. He unleashed his frustration and voiced his displeasure. As tempers began to flare his teammates came to his aid and let him know they needed his efforts on the court.
Let’s not forget the antics Akeem Scott pulled on court. The man can trash talk like Gary Payton. Or maybe his New Yorker nature was exposed right through his jersey.
Sadly, the heroics of Jamaica began to fail them quick because it was Brady Heslip to the rescue. He Baylor Bear had ice water in his veins hitting back to back threes to widen Canada’s margin of victory.
There was more to the Brady’s side part that meets the eye. He was awarded player of the game honors. The rematch will be on Saturday at Ryerson Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Fans have come out by the hundreds to support the new age of Canada basketball as they set their sites on qualifying for the FIBA World Championships next year.