Greivis Vasquez scored 29 points Saturday as Venezuela downed Canada 103-98 in overtime at the FIBA Olympic Americas qualifying tournament.
Hector Romero added 28 points and David Cubillan had 15 points and 10 assists for Venezuela (2-2), which moves into the quarter-final round out of Group A along with Canada (2-2).
Jermaine Anderson led the way for the Canadians with 28 points, while Denham Brown added 19 points and six rebounds. Carl English had 18 points for Canada and Joel Anthony chipped in with nine points and nine boards.
Canada came into the game having given up the second fewest points in the tournament, but Venezuela exploded with 44 points in the second half and 19 more in overtime.
"Obviously it was a tough game," Canada coach Leo Rautins said. "One of the things we have been very good at is establishing a defensive game plan. For the first time, we got away from that."
Brown echoed his coach's sentiments.
"I felt we got away from what we were trying to accomplish defensively," he said. "They played a really good offensive game, and it turned out in their favour."
Canada shot an impressive 49 per cent from the field, but allowed Venezuela to shoot 52 per cent.
Canada trailed by two at the half before Venezuela took its largest lead of the game with a seven-point edge midway through the third. But back-to-back three-pointers by Anderson and Jevohn Shepherd followed by a dunk by Shepherd tied the game 52-52 before Canada took a one-point lead to the fourth.
Anderson continued to carry the load for Canada in the fourth, hitting two late free-throws to force overtime. He added nine points in the five-minute extra period, but Venezuela hit some key shots en route to its second victory of the tournament.
Despite the loss, Rautins is looking forward to the second round of the tournament.
"We have to put this game behind us and now we must look forward to the next four games and get mentally and physically ready to play because every game from now on will be a war," he said.
The top-two finishers at the tournament earn automatic berths to the 2012 London Games.
The third- through fifth-place teams will play in a second-chance qualifying tournament next summer to determine the final three Olympic entries.
Canada is looking to qualify for the Olympics for the first time since the 2000 Sydney Games.