Jamaica squandered a 17-point lead and lost to Canada 77-72, losing the second of two games in the Jack Donohue International Classic.
The Jamaicans played hard, hitting open shots and capitalizing on Canadian errors. The problem was Thursday’s scoring threats, Brady Heslip and Andy Rautins, gave the Canadians a second half boost that put them back in the game. It proved to be the dagger.
The Jamaicans played a zone defense that smothered the Canadian offense for the majority of the first half. To spark the offensive attack, Canadian coach Jay Triano inserted Heslip, along with Andy Rautins, to space the floor.
“We had planned on … not playing him in the first half of the game, he and Brady," Triano said of Rautins, who had 11 points. "We needed to take a look at other guys, and in the second half when it stayed zone, those two guys were going to play."
The Jamaicans now turn their attention to the FIBA Americas Championship, a precursor to the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Jamaica is scheduled to hold camp in Montego Bay before leaving in September for the Americas Tournament in Venezuela.
Former Miami Basketball player Durand Scott, who recently signed with the Spanish team Obradoiro, played with Jamaica in the Donohue Classic. It is unknown if he will continue to play with the Jamaican team in the Americas Tournament.