Canada falls to Spain 76-66 in women’s basketball at Tokyo Olympics

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Canada’s women’s basketball team fell 76-66 to Spain on Sunday to wrap up its round-robin schedule at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kia Nurse had 14 points for the Canadians (1-2).

Astou Ndour — dominant at both ends of the floor — poured in 20 points for first-place Spain (3-0).

Serbia (1-1) and South Korea (0-2) played in Sunday’s late game to wrap up Group A action inside the cavernous Saitama Super Arena.

Canada now needs a South Korean upset in that one to finish second in the group. If that doesn’t happen, the Canadians will wind up third and have some nervy hours in advance of Monday’s results in the rest of the women’s bracket to see if they’ll move onto the quarterfinals.

The top two teams in each of the tournament’s three groups advance to the start of the medal round Wednesday, along with the two best third-place squads.

Spain entered the 10 a.m. local time start having already booked a spot in the quarters. Canada departed the athletes’ village at 7:15 a.m. for the 40-kilometre bus ride to the venue north of Tokyo.

Canada lost its opener 72-68 to Serbia before rebounding to beat South Korea 74-53.

The Canadians trailed 23-13 after Sunday’s first quarter thanks to some sloppy play early before grinding its way back into the contest in the second, with Kia Nurse’s three-pointer just before half cutting the deficit to 40-34.

But the Spaniards went on a 9-0 run to go up by as many as 20 early in the third.

Nurse hit a three early in the fourth to cut the deficit it 60-52. The Canadians would get back to within six a couple of times, but couldn’t close the gap any further and must now wait to learn their immediate fate in Japan.

Ranked fourth in the world by FIBA — the sport’s governing body — Canada finished seventh at the 2016 Rio Games and has never medalled at the Olympics.

Currently sitting No. 3 in the rankings, Spain won silver in Brazil five years ago.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 1, 2021.

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