Late runs give Canada bronze medal - 2nd podium finish in history
RIGA / DAUGAVPILS (Latvia) - Canada collected their second podium finish in history as they grabbed third place at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2021 by beating Serbia 101-92. The 2017 champions Canada bounced back from losing to the United States in the Semi-Finals by putting together two runs in the fourth quarter to get the win.
Turning point: Canada blew a 15-point lead and watched as Serbia pulled ahead by 11 points only to have the game deadlocked after three quarters. The North Americans then mounted runs of 10-2 and 11-0 in the final frame to pull ahead 97-84 with under 3 minutes left.
Game heroes: Bennedict Mathurin poured in 31 points, including 10 points in those fourth quarter spurts, while Ryan Nembhard picked up 21 points and 10 assists and Zach Edey finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds for Canada.
Stats don't lie: Canada converted 67.9% of their 2-pointers and committed only 10 turnovers while also making 20-of-24 free throws compared to just 4-of-5 foul shots for Serbia.
They said: "I feel pretty good. It’s the second medal in the history of Canada basketball. It’s not what we wanted but we got third place. Third place is better than fourth place. So, we’ll take it. We’re not done. We all have a bright future. It was amazing.
It’s pretty important for the country. The senior team was not able to qualify for the Olympics so we had to represent the country well." - Canada guard Bennedict Mathurin
"The loss to the United States was difficult. It was a goal for us to beat them and win the gold medal. But the way our team responded was terrific. We’re very proud to come home with our second ever medal in Canada history. And hopefully in time our players will appreciate it just as much as a gold. We’re trying to do our part. We’ve medalled here before in this age group. We want to continue to increase how good we are at the U19 level and hope in time it continues to grow upwards into our senior team. We’re doing our part to try to help Canada basketball." - Canada head coach Paul Weir
Spain 86-81 OT Lithuania
Summary: Spain prevailed in an all-European battle with Lithuania for fifth place, wining the tight game in overtime. Ruben Dominguez poured in 28 points and Adria Domenech collected 14 points and 17 rebounds for the winners.
They Said: "The most important thing was pushing the whole game and getting the victory. I just tried to do the things the team needed." - Spain guard Ruben Dominguez
Senegal 75-67 Argentina
Summary: Senegal finished off their best-ever performance at the U19 World Cup with a victory over Argentina to take seventh place. The Africans, who had finished 15th and 16th in their previous two appearances, took control of the game in the third quarter. Khalifa Diop collected 23 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 4 blocks in the win.
They Said: "We showed that we still have heart even after taking a loss in the last game. We came back and wanted a win before going back to Senegal. This shows that basketball in Senegal is advancing and you can't sleep on Africa. We're coming." -Senegal guard Bamba Diatta
Turkey 56-52 Australia
Summary: Turkey finished in ninth place at the tournament after knocking off Australia in a low-scoring battle. Turkey gave up an 11-point lead but went back ahead for good on Yigit Onan's jumper with 34 seconds left. David Mutaf paced Turkey with 12 points.
They said: "We definitely thought that we could compete for a medal here. We're kind of disappointed that we got knocked out pretty early. It's good to finish as high as we possibly could after the Round of 16 loss. We're content about what we have accomplished, but we're still disappointed that we couldn't finish with a medal." - Turkey forward Tibet Gorener
Latvia 71-63 Iran
Summary: Latvia finished the tournament in 11th place as the hosts fended off Iran thanks to David Denafs scoring 20 points and Kriss Helmani picking up 7 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
They Said: "We were playing them for the second time in the tournament, so we knew what to expect and what to be ready for. We had to stop their transition offense. We did it quite good." - Latvia guard Toms Skulja
Mali 95-92 OT Puerto Rico
Summary: Mali finished the tournament with two victories and 13th place as they knocked off Puerto Rico in a roller-coaster game. Mali trailed by 12 points and then led by 13 points only to lose that advantage and need overtime to finally get the win. Ladji Dembele paced five Mali players in double figures with 17 points.
They Said: "We started really slow. We found our rhythm in the second quarter and we completely changed in the game. In the last quarter we thought we already won the game. We didn't go as hard as we should have. It was a different game, but I'm glad the guys kept their mind focused on the game and we finished as good as we could." - Mali center Oumar Ballo
Korea 95-92 Japan
Summary: Korea picked up their first victory of the tournament and did it just in time to finish in 15th place as they beat Asian rivals Japan. The game saw some outstanding individual performances as Korea's Yeo Jun Seok had 36 points and 12 rebounds while Ibu Yamazaki scored 32 points and John Harper Jr. collected a triple-double of 10 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists.
They Said: "I couldn’t be happier about the win. We have struggled during the tournament but we proved ourselves with this win. And it means a lot to beat Japan too." - Korean forward Yeo Jun Seok