A power outage was about the only thing that could stop Canada against Uruguay on Tuesday night in Caracas, Venezuela.
The mid-afternoon game was re-scheduled after the power at the Polyhedron of Caracas (and most of the city) cut out in the middle of the day's second game and organizers opted to push the schedule forward and move this matchup for second place in Group A to the end of the night.
It largely did not matter. Canada took care of its business 93-67 to wrap up the second place spot in Group A. Canada moves on to the second round of round robin play. The top four teams from the next four days of games will advance to the semifinals and to the FIBA World Cup next summer.
This game was never in doubt. The Canucks jumped out to a 29-11 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, leading by more than 30 points for much of the second half. This game was not in doubt.
Andrew Nicholson played a big part in building the lead too. He scored a game-high 18 points, shooting 7 for 8 from the floor and making all three of his 3-point attempts. Nicholson showed a little bit of everything.
With the lead ballooning, there might have been some frustration on Uruguay's part and the team seemed to be trying to get under his skin with physical play in the post. Nicholson nearly got into a scrum with a Uruguayan player, but cooler heads prevailed.
That is good to see from Nicholson to see him push back a little physically and not back down. Nicholson has needed to put on some muscle to maintain his positioning in the post and really make his post game more effective. We know and have seen in this tournament just how efficient Nicholson can be in the post.
In reality though, Uruguay is a surprise team advancing to the second round. Many pegged them or Jamaica to finish last in this group. Brazil surprisingly is not the team moving on having gone winless in its four games and now needing a Wild Card invite to get to Spain next summer.
Esteban Batista has had some nice games for Uruguay and that certainly played a big role in Uruguay advancing. A major role.
So what is next for Canada?
The results from the first four games carry over — except for the win over Brazil. Canada is officially 2-1 entering the second round. The Canucks will play the four teams that advance from Group B — Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela and Dominican Republic. Five days from now, the top four teams will advance to the semifinals and the World Cup next summer.
So there is still some work for Canada to do to ensure they get one of those four spots. Fortunately, they get a day off Wednesday before diving back in Thursday against Mexico.