More Barbosa does in Canada
Leandro Barbosa’s turning into a true pain for Canada’s senior men’s basketball team.
Three nights after blitzing Canada for 31 points, the Brazilian and Phoenix Suns guard went off for 22 last night as Brazil dumped Canada 73-65 in the semifinals of the FIBA Americas world qualification tournament in Puerto Rico.
Canada, by virtue of a Friday night win over Dominican Republic, has already qualified for the world championships starting next August in Turkey and the games this weekend are solely to determine seeding in the 24-country worlds.
Canada will face either Puerto Rico or Argentina today at 6:30 p.m. in the bronze medal game to wind up the tournament.
Barbosa, who sat out a game Friday after torching the Canadians in the quarter-final round, made eight of 11 field goal attempts and two of six three-pointers while getting to the free throw line only once. Anderson Varejao of the Cleveland Cavaliers had 16 points for the winners.
Canadian coach Leo Rautins used his bench liberally in the relatively meaningless game, shuttling all 12 members of the squad in and out. With almost half of the world championship field still to be determined – six teams will come out of this month’s European qualification tournament and another four will be added by world governing body FIBA as wild cards in mid-December – trying to figure out seeds or preliminary-round groupings is impossible, giving Canada and the other FIBA Americas teams a chance to experiment this weekend with their spots already secured.
Joel Anthony of Montreal and the Miami Heat, led Canada with 17 points while Andy Rautins had 12 and Jermaine Bucknor 10.
Brazil, also with a spot in Turkey locked up, used its bench equally liberally, especially in the final five minutes of the 40-minute game.