Canada moved to 2-0 in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup on Sunday in Latvia as they picked up a 100-75 victory over Japan. It was even easier than that for them, as they led by 34 at one point early in the fourth quarter. That keeps them unbeaten in Group A play and on track to secure the top seed in the group heading into the knockout rounds.
It wasn’t easy all the way through for the Canadians, as Japan led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter, and a jumper from Java Eo Yoneyama early in the second quarter had Canada trailing 19-13. That was the low water mark for them, though. Elijah Fisher scored on the next possession for America’s northern neighbor to jumpstart a 27-14 section to end the first half and leave Canada up 40-33 at the intermission. Zach Edey scored the first two buckets of the second half as Canada scored the first six points on their way to a 36-21 advantage in the third quarter and they were able to coast it in from there.
Let’s talk about Olivier-Maxence Prosper, as that’s the real reason we’re paying attention to these Canadian games anyway. The new Marquette transfer started for Canada again here, and he had himself a nice little game in his 22 minutes of action. seven points on 3-for-5 shooting ain’t too bad, and he added six rebounds and two assists while compiling a +31 on the day.
Going 1-for-2 from behind the three-point line is pretty much all you can ask for from a guy, and lemme show you exactly what his two made buckets inside the arc looked like.
Somebody ask @CanBball's @olmaxpros8 what he had for breakfast #FIBAU19 pic.twitter.com/1AlFixrv4s— FIBA (@FIBA) July 4, 2021
We'll take whatever he's having. #FIBAU19 | @olmaxpros8 @CanBball pic.twitter.com/b2HcYJODBN— FIBA (@FIBA) July 4, 2021
Why, yes, I will be happy to cheer for a guy who has the athleticism to turn slightly broken and falling apart situations into rim-shaking dunks, thank you or asking.
Here’s FIBA’s three minute highlight package for the game. Keep your eyes out for #8 in red.
Up Next: An off day! The whole tournament is taking Monday off after every team played on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday’s games will wrap up group play for everyone, and Team Canada will be looking to finish 3-0 and lock up the top seed in the group and thus give themselves a game against the fourth place team in Group B. They’ve been given this chance because Lithuania beat Senegal, 78-73, in Sunday’s other Group A game, thus moving both of those teams to 1-1 ahead of 0-2 Japan. Canada will tip off against Senegal on Tuesday at 4am Central time, and you can stream that game right here.