The Canadian men’s basketball team’s Olympic dream has come to an end at the hands of the Czech Republic.

Size and experience was the key to success for the Czechs, a team that out-muscled the Canadians to win Saturday’s elimination game, 103-101 in overtime.

The loss is a heartbreaking blow to a Canadian men’s basketball program that had high hopes this team and this moment would set the program onto a different path. 

Having not played since Wednesday, it took the Canadian team the majority of the first quarter to find their rhythm. The Czechs opened up a 15-6 lead less than four minutes into the game, forcing head coach Nick Nurse to take a timeout to regroup. 

Canada immediately went on an 8-0 run to get back within one point, forcing the Czechs to take a timeout. 

By the time the buzzer sounded to finish the first quarter, the Czech Republic found themselves leading Canada by just two points, 29-27. 

Find live streams, must-watch video highlights, breaking news and more in one perfect Olympic Games package. Following Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.

More from Tokyo 2020

The two teams traded buckets for most of the second quarter before the Czechs knocked down back-to-back threes late with 3:44 left before halftime.

Nurse called a timeout trying to stop the Czech Republic momentum. 

But the size and experience of the Czechs proved to be too much early in the game — the Czech Republic took a 52-44 lead into halftime. 

The Czech Republic built up a 13-point lead in the third quarter, but Canada refused to quit. Down nine with 44 seconds to go, Canada fought back to force OT. 

In a wild finish, it was the Czechs who ultimately kept their Olympic dream alive — going up by two in the dying seconds while Canada’s last-ditch effort heartbreakingly circled the rim before bouncing out. 

The Czechs now await the winner of the second semifinal between Greece and Turkey. The championship game goes Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET on CBC TV. 

Only the winner gets the ticket to the Tokyo Olympics.

More to come

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here