Canada's basketball squad is filled with exciting, talented players like Andrew Wiggins, Cory Joseph, Kelly Olynyk, Nik Stauskas and Anthony Bennett. But as a young team, they have a tendency to play down to teams from time to time.
On Friday night, it looked like they might be able to survive a sub-par effort against Venezuela as long as they could get one last stop at the end of regulation to force overtime. Then this happened:
It's like Where's Waldo but with a foul that really isn't there. pic.twitter.com/ZV1bvEJf7f— Zach Harper (@talkhoops) September 12, 2015
YAY WE'RE GOING TO OVERTIME ... except they didn't, because the referees called a foul on the scrum under the basket going after the missed shot. Venezuela's Gregory Vargas proceeded to make a free throw with 0.3 seconds left to seal the victory. Did you see the foul? No? Well, you're not alone.
@FIBA Can you please explain the foul call that ended the Canada vs. Venezuela game in the #FIBAAmericas2015 tournament?— Oz Ghent (@LittleOzz) September 12, 2015
Canada got absolutely robbed against Venezuela. Where was the foul!?!?!?— Rico Ramos (@RamosBoxeo) September 12, 2015
An absolutely embarrassing call wins the game for Venezuela. That being said: Canada should not have been in a position to lose on said call— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) September 12, 2015
And keep in mind, this wasn't just some ho-hum friendly international game. With the win, Venezuela clinched a spot in the 2016 Olympics. Canada, on the other hand, now has to play in a qualifying tournament next summer for one of the three at-large berths into the field, where they'll have to face steeper competition from around the world than they had to face this year in the FIBA Americas tournament.
Still, while Canada is probably a tad upset over the late call that may have cost them the game, they're still putting the blame on their own shoulders:
"We played crappy," Cory Joseph says. Yes.— Eric Koreen (@ekoreen) September 12, 2015