If this is the knockout rounds of the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup, then Canada scored an early TKO of Puerto Rico on Wednesday. With 5:12 left in the first quarter, Miguel Santos Torres converted a layup to pull Puerto Rico within three, 11-8, of Canada. Those would be the final points of the opening quarter for Puerto Rico as the Canadians ran off ten straight to close the frame and then scored the first three of the next quarter to take a 24-10 lead.
That was it for the competitive part of the game as Canada just kept on chugging to lead by 40 at one point before finally settling on exactly 30 as the final margin, 86-56. Team Canada advances to the quarterfinals, while Puerto Rico’s run in the tournament now flips over to the consolation bracket.
It was a quiet game for OUR GUY~! Olivier-Maxence Prosper. Sure, the new Marquette transfer was in the starting lineup for Canada for the fourth straight game in this tournament, but he only played 16 minutes. I’m guessing that had something to do with Prosper missing all five field goals that he attempted in the game. He did go 3-for-4 from the free throw line for his only points of the game, and Prosper did add four rebounds and two assists as well. The oh-fer makes it sound like O-Max was struggling mightily in this game, but he still managed to finish with a +21 in his 16 minutes. That’s pretty good, although I suspect that the walloping that Canada was giving Puerto Rico — 31-13 in the third quarter alone! — might have had a lot to do with that, too.
Wanna watch some highlights? Prosper is #8 in white out there.
Up Next: Thursday, July 8, is an off day for the tournament. The quarterfinals are coming up on Friday, July 9th, and Canada will be paired up with Spain after they beat Australia by 13 in their Round of 16 game. The Spaniards went 2-1 in Group C, which ended up putting them in a three-way tie for first place with France and Argentina. A one point loss to Argentina and a one point win over France combined with a 51 point smashing of South Korea landed Spain in second place out of Group C officially.
The game will tip off at 4am Central Time on Friday morning, and it appears that things are getting fancy from here. There’s no more free YouTube streams for the winner’s bracket, as FIBA says that this game will be streamed on ESPN+. That’s pretty neat.