Canada opens FIBA AmeriCup with 83-71 loss to the Virgin Islands

BAHIA BLANCA, Argentina — Walter Hodge scored 25 points and added eight assists as the Virgin Islands defeated Canada 83-71 on Sunday at the FIBA AmeriCup.

Johnathan Gray chipped in with 14 points while Deon Edwin and Khalid Hart had 12 apiece.

Olivier Hanlan led Canada with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists. Xavier Rathan-Mayes grabbed 10 rebounds while adding six assists and five points.

“We didn’t play well and we have to do a better job of coming out with a lot of energy,” said Rathan-Mayes. “We came out sluggish and didn’t execute the way we should have. We just have to go back and regroup, come back and win two.”

The FIBA AmeriCup is an exhibition tournament and is preparation for qualifying for the 2019 World Cup in China.

Qualifying for the 32-team World Cup now features a two-round tournament of home and away games. The World Cup is a major qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The Canadians continue preliminary round play on Monday against Argentina.

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