Canada's hopes of qualifying for the London Olympics were all but dashed Tuesday after a 79-74 loss to Puerto Rico at the FIBA Olympic Americas qualifying tournament.
Canada fell to 0-2 in the second round and needs to win its two remaining games and get some help from other teams to have a shot of reaching a second-chance Olympic qualifier next summer.
Head coach Leo Rautins said his team will continue to play hard and hope for the best.
"I give these guys credit, they're not going to quit, they're not going to stop playing," Rautins said on a conference call. "They're going to continue to fight."
It was a short turnaround for the Canadians, who were coming off a 77-53 loss to Argentina on Monday. Veteran NBA guard Carlos Arroyo led all players with 26 points.
"We just seemed very sluggish, like we were walking in cement," Rautins said. "We just couldn't seem to get moving."
Andy Rautins was the top Canadian scorer with 18 points.
Canada trailed by 15 after three quarters but fought back to tie the game 67-67 with about six minutes left to play. However, Arroyo hit five straight points after a timeout and Puerto Rico never relinquished the lead.
"We were able to get out of that hole but Puerto Rico made some plays down the stretch and we weren't able to recover," Rautins said.
Canada fell to 1-4 overall at the tournament and will next play Uruguay on Wednesday.
The Canadians are also dealing with some injury concerns. Rautins said centre Aaron Doornekamp is likely out for the rest of the tournament after suffering a concussion in the final minute of play.
Andy Rautins is also questionable after he suffered a broken nose and slight concussion early in the fourth quarter and centre Joel Anthony was limited to just six minutes because of an apparent ankle injury.
Puerto Rico locked up a spot in the semifinals with the win. The Dominican Republic defeated Uruguay 84-76 in the other early game.
Later in the day, Argentina overpowered Venezuela 111-93, while Brazil beat Panama 90-65.
Alex Galindo scored 13 points for Puerto Rico and J.J. Barea added 11 points and a team-high six assists. Carl English had 13 points for the Canadians, who had a 35-29 edge in rebounds.
Canada will close out second-round play on Thursday against Panama.
Play ends Sunday with the top two teams qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics. The third- through fifth-place teams will play in the second-chance qualifier to determine the final three Olympic entries.
The United States won the 2010 world championship and has already qualified for London. Canada hasn't qualified for the Olympics since the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.