The FIBA Americas tournament enters Day 3 on Sunday after a solid first two days of action. Sunday’s games don’t feature the marquee matchups that littered Friday and Saturday, but the first contest of the day should be worth watching.
Canada and Brazil are both in the conversation for the Final Four next weekend, a spot that would ensure them a spot in next year’s FIBA World Cup and a step closer to a 2016 Olympic bid. Both teams are coming off of a loss, but it’s not due to a lack of talent.
Brazil is missing the majority of its NBA players as Nene, Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao and Leandro Barbosa all decided to sit this summer out. That leaves recent Utah Jazz draft pick Raul Neto as the team’s only NBA player, but he didn’t see action in the team’s first game and likely won’t find many minutes for the duration of the tournament. Brazil was led by 16 points and five assists from 30-year-old point Marcelo Huertas in their tournament-opening loss to Brazil, but his teammates will have to shoot better than 4-for-17 from beyond the arc to have a chance against Canada.
This year’s Canada team is missing future NBA All-Star Andrew Wiggins, top NBA Draft pick Anthony Bennett and Summer League star Kelly Olynyk, but they still boast four current NBA players in Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Tristan Thompson and Joel Anthony. Joseph was great in Canada’s victory over Jamaica, but struggled in Saturday’s loss to Puerto Rico. The bigs played well in Saturday’s loss, too, so it seems Joseph will be the key to Canada’s success this tournament.
Saturday’s other games include Mexico vs. Paraguay, Michael Martinez’s Dominican Republic squad vs. Venezuela and Puerto Rico vs. Uruguay. All three will likely be blowouts, particularly since Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico have looked dominant early.
The full schedule is listed below in Eastern Time (Venezuelan time is a half-hour between Central and Eastern time, making the conversion a bit difficult for some (me)). All games are available on ESPN3 where available.
11:30 a.m. – Canada (1-1) vs. Brazil (0-1)
2 p.m. – Mexico (1-0) vs. Paraguay (0-2)
5:30 p.m. – Venezuela (1-1) vs. Dominican Republic (1-0)
8 p.m. – Puerto Rico (2-0) vs. Uruguay (1-0)