Canada’s historic FIBA World Cup medal: OT win over USA

Photo of Dillon Brooks, Canada team leader

In an electrifying and record-setting bronze medal match held in Manila, Canada secured their inaugural podium finish at the FIBA Basketball World Cup by defeating a depleted United States team 127-118 in overtime.

Dillon Brooks, renowned for his sharpshooting and poised to join the Houston Rockets next season, led the Canadian charge with a remarkable 39 points, connecting on seven of eight three-point attempts. This performance marked the highest point total by a player in a medal-winning game in the tournament’s history. Brooks received MVP chants from the crowd, a stark contrast to the earlier boos he encountered during Canada’s previous matches.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Canada’s leading scorer, rebounder, and playmaker, contributed a significant 31 points, along with six rebounds and an impressive 12 assists.

The United States faced the challenge of missing several key players, including Paolo Banchero, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Brandon Ingram, who were sidelined due to illness.

Anthony Edwards, Team USA’s top scorer, recorded 24 points, while Austin Reaves made a notable impact off the bench with 23 points.

Canada took advantage of a slow start by the U.S., establishing a 34-21 lead in the opening quarter. However, Team USA mounted a spirited comeback in the second quarter, reducing the deficit to 58-56 by halftime. The game was sent into overtime when Mikal Bridges of the Brooklyn Nets made a crucial three-pointer, and Canada’s Kelly Olynyk narrowly missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer, resulting in a 111-111 tie at the end of regulation.

This loss marked the highest number of points conceded by Team USA in a World Cup game. Despite the defeat, the United States improved on their seventh-place finish in 2019, which had been their worst-ever performance in a major international tournament. Notably, the U.S. has clinched the tournament title a record five times.

Canada achieved several remarkable milestones during the tournament, including their first-ever appearance in the semifinals and securing a spot in the Summer Olympics for the first time since 2000.

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