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Canadian women beat Puerto Rico to finish third in AmeriCup

Nirra Fields Canada Nirra Fields - Canada Basketball on Twitter

LEÓN, Mexico — Less than a day after a heartbreaking loss to the United States in the women's AmeriCup basketball tournament, Canada bounced back with an 80-73 victory over Puerto Rico in Sunday's third-place final.

Canada, which dropped a tough 67-63 decision Saturday night to the favoured Americans, got a 19-point performance from Nirra Fields to beat Puerto Rico, which lost 85-74 to Brazil in Saturday's other semifinal showdown.

Kayla Alexander had 13 points and 19 rebounds for Canada against Puerto Rico, while Shay Colley added 15 points.

Puerto Rico was led by a game-high 27-point performance from Arella Guirantes and 17 points from Mya Hollingshed.

“This is one of the most impressive teams I've coached in my life," said Canadian coach Victor Lapena.

"Every day they give me a special energy. Now after this AmeriCup I’m a better coach, I’m a better person. So (players), thank you very much. Enjoy the moment because you deserve it.”

“I just want to say how proud I am of this team as well,” Alexander said. “I feel like everybody who is here is dedicated to this team. They gave their all today, all tournament long.

"We cheered each other from the bench, from the floor. Everybody gave their energy. I'm really proud of this team and what we have accomplished this year.”

Canada led 38-37 at halftime and took a 64-59 lead into the final quarter.

Brazil defeated the U.S. 69-58 in Sunday's championship final.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2023.