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August 1, 2021

By Rocky Swift

TOKYO (Reuters) – Spain’s Alba Torrens hit two three-pointers to halt a fourth quarter rally by Canada in women’s Olympic basketball on Sunday, dimming the North Americans’ chances of advancing in the quarter-finals.

Spain’s 76-66 victory cemented a 3-0 sweep of its Group A rivals. Canada, 1-2, can still advance depending on results and point differences among other third-place teams.

Canada had a rocky start, with multiple turnovers in the first quarter and allowing Spain to run up 10 unanswered points. In the second half, Spain ramped up its three-point game to snuff out Canada’s attempts to close the point gap.

“We are at the Olympic Games, and we know that every team can catch up with you in the score,” said Spain’s Torrens, who finished with 12 points. “The key here is to keep in the moment and to keep pushing because you never know.”

The final Group A preliminary match between Serbia and South Korea will take place later on Sunday. Team USA and Belgium sit atop their respective groups in the women’s preliminaries. China has also guaranteed advancement with a 2-0 record so far.

On the men’s side, host nation Japan and Argentina go head to head in the afternoon with a final quarter-final slot on the line. Both teams are winless so far in the tournament.

A drawing will be held before the final game on Sunday to determine the matchups in the men’s quarter-finals on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)