Argentina may have spoiled Team Canada’s big debut at the FIBA Americas Tournament Tuesday, but Andrew Wiggins still managed to posterize someone before all was said and done. That someone just happened to be former NBA journeyman Andres Nocioni, who was a tad late rotating to the weak side once Wiggins turned the corner on his defender.
Wiggins finished with a team-high 13 points, but the young Canadians were ultimately no match for a veteran Argentinian team led by Luis Scola (35 points, one missed dunk) in their 94-87 loss in the opening round. Canada will go on to play Cuba Wednesday at the Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City where the games are being held.
The gold and silver medal finalists of this FIBA tournament will automatically qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. That is, unless Brazil happens to finish first or second, in which case the two next best teams will qualify. As the host country, Brazil has automatically qualified for next summer’s Olympics.
Team USA has opted not to play in the tournament as last year’s gold medal win at the FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Spain automatically earned them a spot in Rio next year. But this Canadian team, led by Wiggins, is expected to be one of those countries playing in Brazil next summer. It remains to be seen whether today’s inauspicious start will end up thwarting that goal.