There won’t be any CanCon at the Olympic men’s basketball tournament in London next summer after Team Canada’s loss today at the FIBA Americas tournament. Canada fell to Panama this morning 91-89 and have officially been eliminated from Olympic contention. Canada needed a win, along with a Uruguay victory over Venezuela, to clinch the fifth and final spot to go to a second-chance tournament next summer; the top two teams are automatically in the 2012 Games, while the third through fifth place teams have to play in another qualifier.
Carl English led the way for Canada, scoring 24, while Andy Rautins added 14 points. Kelly Olynyk and Jevohn Shepherd each had 13 points, and Levon Kendall grabbed seven rebounds. Gary Forbes was the main offense for Panama, netting 39 points and nailing a three-pointer with 16 seconds to play that made it 91-86 before Rautins hit a late three of his own.
Canada crumbled in the second round of the tournament, finishing with a 1-3 record after losses to Argentina and Puerto Rico before edging out Uruguay on Wednesday morning. In the preliminary round, Canada was 2-2 including a tough overtime loss to Venezuela on Saturday.
The last time Canada qualified for the Olympics was the 2000 Games in Sydney.