After several exhibition matches over the last month, the Canadian National team which features San Antonio Spurs guard Cory Joseph finally embarked on their journey in the 2013 FIBA Americas tournament, by cruising with an 85-64 victory over Jamaica.
Joseph, who had been fairly inconsistent in the exhibition games was the shining star for Canada on Friday as he led the Canadians with 17 points and a team-high 9 assists, while also producing 8 rebounds, and 2 steals. Joseph almost put together a triple-double in 37 minutes of play while only taking 3-of-9 shots from the field.
The game started off close as Canada took only a 19-14 lead after the first quarter. In the second quarter however, Canada created some separation with their defense as they held the Jamaicans to 11 points in the quarter. Jamaica would make the third quarter competitive but it was another defensive performance in the fourth quarter by the Canadians that allowed them to hold Jamaica to 14 points and finish the game winning by 21 points.
For the win, Canada has earned 2 points in Group A. The goal is to remain in the top-4 of five teams in each group during phase 1 in order to advance to phase 2. Up next on Friday for Joseph and Canada will be the two-headed point guard attack of Puerto Rico featuring former NBA player Carlos Arroyo and current Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea.
Dominating Jamaica in basketball is the equivalent of OSU dominating UTSA when they play in a couple of weeks. It's somewhat expected. Joseph really hasn't (to me) been impressive at all in the exhibition games and while he had some decent #'s in summer league, he didn't look like an NBA vet playing against rookies and guys just trying to make a roster spot. The Spurs need a backup point guard who can spell Tony and keep the pedal to the metal. I don't think that guy is on our roster yet. Again-that's just me. Won't matter much during the regular season, but once post-season starts, among the many things we learned v. Miami...gotta have someone we can trust with the rock besides Tony. He just flat wore down the last few games.