Canada misses podium, finishes fourth


Michel Belanger

July 17, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – Serbia claimed the bronze medal in men’s basketball at the 27th Summer Universiade, winning the game 87-74 after the Canadians had drawn even in the fourth quarter.

The Serbians had also defeated Canada in the 2011 FISU Games final, 68-55.

2013 marks the 13th time in 21 appearances that Canada finishes in the top four at the biennial tournament.

Team Canada website:

Team Canada Twitter: @CDNUniversiade | #gocanada

Summer Universiade website:

The bronze medallists were led by 6-foot-11 centre Dorde Gagic, who broke free of the double-team defence down low to score a game-high 24 points. Canada was led by Toronto product Dwight Powell (Stanford University), who scored 12 and added eight rebounds.

“We were in a heck of a ball game with five minutes to go,” said head coach Jay Triano, describing the frenetic pace of the opening minutes of the fourth quarter when Canada pushed ahead by four points only to see the game tied up again moments later.

A Powell inside score knotted things up at 70-70, but the Canadians then went scoreless for the next three minutes while Serbia went on a 10-0 run.

“We had wide-open threes and we had drives to the basket where either they made good plays or the whistle didn’t blow,” explained Triano. “We have to do a better job of keeping guys in front of us and do a better job of finishing plays strong and getting to the free throw line.”

The Serbians earned 37 trips to the free throw line, while Canada stepped to the line just 14 times.

The red and white were in a hole early, trailing 24-16 at the end of the first quarter.

The line of brothers Phil and Thomas Scrubb, of Richmond B.C. (Carleton) and Owen Klassen (Acadia) did good work to close the gap at the beginning of the second frame. Point guard Phil Scrubb fed Klassen inside for a dunk which put the score at 33-31, but costly turnovers set Canada back 47-37 at halftime.

Scrubb continued to play well in the second half, scoring a trio of three-pointers to whittle the halftime lead down to 53-51. Canada took a 63-61 lead at the end of the third thanks to a steal by Brampton product Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) and an acrobatic buzzer-beater in the lane by Kevin Pangos of Holland Landing, Ont. (Gonzaga).

The loss was just the second of the summer for the team which played nine games in China before appearing at the Universiade.

“We won fifteen straight games against great competition, but we have to beat European style basketball,” said Triano. “Serbia and Russia are among the top basketball nations in the world and the next time we get to the world championships we’ll be better prepared.”

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Serbia


2013 Kazan, Russia: 4th / 24 teams (champions: Russia)

2011 Shenzhen, China: 2nd / 23 (champions: Serbia)

2009 Belgrade, Serbia: 9th 25 (champions: Serbia)

2007 Bangkok, Thailand: 3rd / 24 (champions: Lithuania)

2005 Izmir, Turkey: 8th / 30 (champions: USA)

2003 Daegu, South Korea: 3rd / 19 (champions: Serbia & Montenegro)

2001 Beijing, China: 6th / 26 (champions: Yugoslavia)

1999 Palma, Spain: 5th / 23 (champions: USA)

1997 Sicily, Italy: 2nd / 16 (champions: USA)

1995 Fukuoka, Japan: 3rd / 17 (champions: USA)

1993 Buffalo, USA: 2nd / 22 (champions: USA)

1991 Sheffield, England: 2nd / 17 (champions: USA)

1989 Duisburg, Germany: 4th / 16 (champions: USA)

1987 Zagreb, Yugoslavia: 7th / 29 (champions: Yugoslavia)

1985 Kobe, Japan: 3rd / 16 (champions: USSR)

1983 Edmonton, Canada: 1st / 21 (champions: CANADA)

1981 Bucharest, Romania: 5th / 29 (champions: USA)

1979 Mexico City, Mexico: 5th / 31 (champions: USA)

1977 Sofia, Bulgaria: 4th / 31 (champions: USA)

1975 Rome, Italy: No tournament –

1973 Moscow, USSR: 4th / 28 (champions: USA)

1970 Turin, Italy: 11th / 29 (champions: USSR)

1967 Tokyo, Japan: Canada DNP (champions: USA)

1965 Budapest, Hungary: Canada DNP (champions: USA)

1963 Porto Alegre, Brazil: Canada DNP (champions: Brazil)

1961 Sofia, Bulgaria: Canada DNP (champions: USSR)

1959 Turin, Italy: Canada DNP (champions: USSR)

DNP: Did not participate