Cory Joseph of the San Antonio Spurs made his debut tonight in the 2011 FIBA Americas tournament as he and Canada lost to Tiago Splitter and Brazil 69-57 in day two of the pre-Olympic qualifier.
The game was close throughout as Brazil led 17-12 at the end of the first quarter, then 33-28 at halftime. Canada would keep it close as they went into the fourth quarter only down by one point, 47 to 46. But then, it was Huertas time.
Brazil’s point guard Marcelo Huertas would close out the game as he sparked a 15-0 run to give the Brazilians a 12 point lead with 3:21 remaining in the game. Joseph went on his own 4-0 run to get the game to eight points late, but Huertas and Brazil would answer back.
After leading Brazil in scoring on Tuesday night, Splitter took a backseat to Huertas who finished with 17 points. Splitter had five points, 10 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one block while shooting 2-for-9 from the field and 1-of-5 from the free throw line in 29 minutes of action.
Splitter also had to defend and score over the Miami Heat’s Joel Anthony throughout the game. Splitter held Anthony to six points and nine rebounds.
Joseph tied as the leading scorer for Canada with eight points, two assists, two rebounds, two steals on 4-of-10 shooting in 24 minutes of playing time.
Joseph and Canada will resume play on Thursday as they face Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks and the Dominican Republic. Splitter and Brazil will return to action on Friday as they face the Dominican Republic as well.
* Erazem Lorbek and Slovenia defeated Bulgaria earlier in the day 67-59. Lorbek led Slovenia with 18 points, nine rebounds, and one steal in 29 minutes. His squad will face Ukraine on Thursday in day two of the FIBA Eurobasket.
(Photo: Getty Images)