That would force a three-way tie between the three teams – Canada, Mexico and Argentina – and the Canadians would take the first seed on the strength of their point spread Tuesday evening.
“I feel like big crowds and insane fans, that get’s me going, it gets me motivated”, Wiggins said following Canada’s 109-82 win over Uruguay Monday night in second-round action at the Olympic qualifying tournament.
For Canada to avoid both Mexico and undefeated Argentina in the semifinals – their ideal scenario – they would have to finish the round robin stage in first place.
The top two teams from the tournament qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio next summer. “Our players are starting to understand and learn the worldwide game a little bit better because we come from varied backgrounds”.
It will take until Wednesday to determine what exactly this game meant – Canada moved into second place here with a 5-1 record, the same as Mexico’s, behind only 6-0 Argentina – and it will take even longer to really figure out how impactful what went down was.
Canada became the third team to reach the FIBA Americas Championship semi-finals with a 94-73 win over Mexico on Tuesday.
Michael Hicks scored 15 points for Panama.
While most viewers witnessed the breakout of Heslip, most were tuned in to get a glimpse of the rookie of the year sensation Andrew Wiggins.
“We also wear them down by doing a good job on the defensive end”, Canada coach Jay Triano said. They had an impressive 57-32 lead at halftime and outscored Uruguay in every quarter. Canada could very well have a rematch against this same Mexico team in the semifinals. At that point, the tiebreaker would be the point differential in games played between those three teams.
Right out of the gate, Canada showed they were up to the test as they ran out to a 26-17 lead after one quarter.
“We know that (Monday) is going to be a tough game but it is good to start the second round with a win”, said Heslip. We know a lot of the teams in the tournament aren’t as deep as we are. They in many ways will dictate the future of the game in our country whether it’s through the growth of our kids, the size of participation, corporate sponsorship, visibility on television.
“It’s a simple formula”, said Nicholson, a physics major. “We have a chance to qualify and we are going to everything possible to achieve that goal”.